Ageing population has out growth its number for years in many countries such as New Zealand that has a number of ageing population. Most ageing population are physically fit and have a healthy life style. But some of their numbers suffers from the most common geriatric problems such as dementia and Alzheimer which cannot be prevented due to their age, lifestyle factors they had when they were young and so as genetic factors. Thus, requires geriatric services in different delivery setting that will be able to help and support them to go on with their life as normal as possible. This geriatric services includes evaluation, treatments, recovery, support groups and includes support groups that are well knowledge in handling geriatrics needs.
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This report will identify and describe the different geriatric services that assisting the aged population here in New Zealand. That employees and people of our Rest Home will be well informed accurately of the other services that can also be offered to the clients and be able to know the proper care that aged people needs to be holistically cared of. The present discussion will embrace the reality, motivate and to promote quality geriatric health care services in our Rest Home with the services that is already available in the government services.
There are different services that the New Zealand Government offers to the aged population to improve and protect their wellbeing. It is well stated by the Minister for Senior Citizen Hon Jo Goodhew (2013) that, “Our older population is becoming increasingly diverse, offering valuable knowledge, skills and experience. My vision for the future is a place where everyone lives life to the full. This is what we as New Zealanders want for our parents and grandparents, as well as ourselves and our children in years to come. People who lead full and successful lives in their younger years will take this success into their older years.” The government takes steps to focus the needs and improving the services that will ensure and protect the ageing population welfare and well-being.
Health & Disability Advocacy
This service supports people in making sure that their human rights are being valued. If in case of health and disability service complaints advocates takes side of complainants. This service is offered for people for free and advocates are willing to support in assistance to resolve complaints.
Health and Disability Advocacy service is helpful for elderly and their family to ensure that they are well knowledge of what are their rights as consumers specially those who are living in a home care. In case like a member of a family felt that his or her love one is being neglected in a home care due to her illness such as dementia that we all know that is common to the elderly. The member can seek help and advice to the advocates to voice out their concerns in regards with the treatment and care. Advocates will be able to make arrangements for the both parties to resolve the complaint. Updated information can be access in Health & Disability website (www.advocacy.hdc.org.nz)
He Manaakitanga KaumÄtua
Age concern is a non-profit organisation that offers useful help in the ageing population of New Zealand. They make sure that the whole walfare of every eldery is being respected and honored. Aged population over 65 years old can benefit in the services that the organisation offers they have a elder abuse and neglect prevention this service is available in majority cities in the entire country. The organisation can help elders that maybe physically, mentally, emotionally and monetary abuse by their family or other people due to their age or current state of health. More information can be access in Age Concern official site (www.ageconcern.org.nz)
Alzheimers New Zealand
A charitable institution that caters its service particularly for elderly with dementia and alzheimers. This institution helps provide support to people especially family with elderly that might be suffering or suffering from the illness. They give well rounded information regarding the early assessment and diagnosis of dementia, offer support to families to cope in caring with their love one who is diagnose with the illness and they organize programmes for the people who are diagnose with dementia and for the awareness of other people about the said illness. More up to date information and ongoing support can be seen in Alzheimers New Zealand (www.alzheimers.org.nz)
HealthEd, it is an online service that provides information to people regarding public health. They have array of up to date information that will boost people knowledge in taking care maintaining and improving of their present health condition. The website is designed to be easily use by everyone even the elderly they first have to register in order to save the article that they want to request and eventually use it as a future reference. Once the sign up is done the person may request or search from the resources the provider have. The articles maybe available in different formats like pampelts, books that can be borrow by individual who wants to learn more regarding on improvement of their health and their family. More detailed information can be access in HealthEd (www.healthed.govt.nz)
Super Gold card is a free of charge card and so as a privilege card for the eligible senior’s age 65 years and over and veterans in New Zealand. With this card elders can have general discounts in different business establishments. They can even have free ride on the government funded means of transportation like the buses and trains during the off-peak hours. This card also gives special discount on latest special deals that runs regularly which can be updated thru the website. Elders benefit a lot from this service for it helps them to lessen the amount of their daily expenses. Specific information is provided in the website of Super Gold (www.supergold.govt.nz)
Geriatrics Service Provision
Hospitalsare one offew institution that provides service to aging populations that diagnose with illness that needs a completepatienttreatment and to be look after by specialised staff and equip with equipment that can be used to fully assess a patient. All level of care in related to assessments, interventions and managements care is available in a hospital setting. Hospital is composed of interdisciplinary team member that hand in hand helps patient to improve patient care and outcomes. Clinical set up provides elderlies the available, standardized and up to date treatments that they need to ensure quality of care. It have geriatric co management that have access to different specialist that will be able to properly assess the full detection of illness to decrease mobility and mortality rates. For dementia patient they are assessed more in this institution for it have all the equipment’s and specialist needed for them to be fully diagnoses with the illness.
General practitionerprovides the first line of medicalcarein a community they assess, diagnose, treat acute non-life-threatening patient and referral to specialize doctor if necessary. But once patient requires more medical attention that is the time they are send to the hospital for further examination and treatment. Age related alteration such as dementia need to be fully assess in order for medical allied to set the appropriate interventions needed.
Residential care services has a different scope of related services for elderlies such as palliative care, rehabilitative services and other geriatric programmes. Residential care are composed of well trained, competence people who will provide supportive and full assistance in everyday aspect of care to the elders’. This people are full responsible in making sure that they provide holistic care to the elderlies specially those who are dependent to the care of others. There are different residential care that specialized in care for different geriatric problems such as dementia care, psychological challenged patients for they can surely provide proper care and attention to the client.
Age associated changes such a s loss of muscles mass and strengths, decrease of muscles force and other physiological changes have a negative impact in elders daily living. For a stroke patient after full assessment proper treatment most elders need to under series of rehabilitation to be able to cope with their daily life routine and to recover and increase their independence if possible. Interventions for functionality, mobility, gross and fine motor skills is being develop slowly in every session to increase, promote and to enhance elderly functionality for their daily activities to prevent falls and injury.
It is age related that neurological changes such as memory function and cognition of the aged population is being affect through time. Some elders cognitive process declines where some still able to sustain information and still have significant cognitive performance. For those who are diagnose with Dementia or Alzheimers’ disease can undergo treatments and lifestyle modification to be able to improve their cognitive function if not be able to be assess with their daily functional status to ensure their safety specially they are predisposed to accident such as fall and injuries.
Elders’ nutrition should be given one of the highest priority to promote and maintain good health. Aged people should have a proper balance of all their daily intake, dietician are experts to help to determine nutritional needs and health of an individual. Individual specially the elderly’s who are diagnose or predispose with diabetes should see a dietician to have their assessment, management and modification of their daily intake.
As part of the Geriatric Health Care Specialist I have prepared a simple outline that can be use to help individual such as family members, staffs to understand and to take part in taking care of our elders and understanding the stigma geriatrics are facing specially dementia and Alzheimer patients.
Our elders needs us specially the frail, known disability and those who have diminished their quality of life. Geriatric problems are not just centered to delirium, malnutirion, falls, incontinence that should be assessed and management. We should be able to recognize and address the every needs of the older people to be able to improve our care and their quality of life.
To help reverse the stigma that elderlies facing due to their age and conditions mostly those who are diagnose with dementia. We will deliver quality care and collective interdisciplinary effort to protect our elders with some of the current stigma they are facing.
Dementia patients faces social isolation from individual and their families
Dementia patient may have cognitive decline unlike any other geriatric associate illness they still have emotion and they still need to feel the sense of belongingness and acceptance of their family and the society.
This isolation stigma can be lessen if there will be enough knowledge regarding the illness. A health educator will be able to help with managing health education regarding the changes and what to expect as the illness affects the patient. With proper care, awareness and understanding will be beneficial to the patient and so as physical and social activities can be offer to maintain their physical, social and cognitive function. Family and friends can have a flexible time of visitation if the patient is settled in a rest home and bonding with family members must be encourage. Elderlies will be encourage to participate in scheduled physical activities such as routine exercise, indoor and outdoor activities to promote socialization with other patients and people around them.
People’s assumption of automatic loss of independence of dementia patients
Some people who are not well informed regarding dementia assumes that individual after by this illness loss their sense of independence. It may be true in some ways but it is only for the people around the patient can truly understand their needs. Family and care providers could be educated regarding the value of independence for elderly with dementia and it is highly recommended to increase functional activity. With simple routine of letting them eat in their own with care giver less supervision can help them to improve their independence. Family members and care providers should be given free education regarding the safety needs of the elderly in regards will falls, injuries and other common complication due to their health condition and to assure the safety as they move independently as much as they can.
Dementia patients unable to make decision regarding their own care
Cognitive impairment may be present in dementia and they may not be able to actively participate in making decision with their care but they still need to be advise of their present situation, care plan and treatment that they will be undergoing. They may not be directly involve with the care management family should be there to give care and be there to know the situation of the patient. But dementia patient capacity to secure consent should be and could be practice in making, adjusting and changing health care programme though they may not seemly understand and remember the situation the fact they were involve with the process it will give them the sense of individuality.
Dissatisfying interaction with the medical community
Dementia has an essential research topic for years as this is well labelled aged illness people became hesitant in seeking evaluation. Medical personnel or physicians may sometimes become hesitant in discussing dementia for the patient and family may have initial thought of it is total useless for them to know those vital information because the said illness is non curable and progresses to worst case scenario in time. But having it well explain in an easy manner that can be clearly understand and physician can give an clear insights of what to expect and what treatment can be offer can provide an opportunity to improve the quality life of the patient.
Having uncertainty of support services and treatments
As some think that dementia have no cure and highly prevalent to elders they become uncertain in seeking medical attention in regards with the illness. For they may think that what is the sense of having it manage if they is no evidence of progress. Support care like rest homes must to be a friendly and safe place of elders with handrails, good and adequate light source, wide doorways, hallways and other setting to ensure safety. Personnel’s and care givers must will be highly trained to deliver a friendly and non-threating physically, emotionally, mentally environment to dementia patients. Advice that family members and friends are highly advise to bring in patients familiar personal things to promote familiarization. If patient or patient family cannot afford medication or treatment be able to recommend alternatives where they can ask for help or further assistance.
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All in all, Elderlies many challenges to their health and daily function as it is not inevitable. Relevant interventions is available in many ways as the government also supports and sees the needs of the aged population. It is the people surrounds and care for them that is responsible to make use of it for their good. As this interventions and practices will still acknowledge, maximize the older person’s capabilities and potential as an individual to function with and without assistance. That sick and well elders must be treated well, individuality is respected and their dignity must be maintain at all times. Elders must be given an opportunity to remain independent and be able to function in the situation as possible they may experience distressing situation but their support system must be evidence at all times.
Given the above information’s in this report improving the health care for the elderly in facing their geriatrics concern is a hand in hand contribution starting from the patient, family, friends, elderly institution and the government. Consistent action with all the parties involve will address the identified and the unknown needs of the elderlies to be able to live their lives the best way possible. The measure of the overall effectiveness of services provided to the elderlies will show minimum supervision from their caregivers in performing their daily activities and they will be fully accepted by the society the way they should be. With the support and contribution of the government aged care system will be more sustainable and affordable for the each and every individual well and sick. Be able to promote good, positive attitude and awareness towards patients who were diagnose with dementia or any illness and their rights as individual must be respected at all time in any situation.
Age Concern. Retrieved from http://www.ageconcern.org.nz
Alzheimers New Zealand. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.alzheimers.org.nz
Health & Disability Advocacy. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.advocacy.hdc.org.nz
HealthEd. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.healthed.govt.nz
Office for senior citizen. (2013, October 01). Minister’s foreword Hon Jo Goodhew. Older New Zealanders-Healthy, independent, connected and respected, 3. Retrieved from http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/what-we-can-do/seniorcitizens/positive-ageing/older-new-zealanders.pdf
Super Gold. Retrieved from http://www.supergold.govt.nz
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