Concept Analysis Paper: Palliative Care in Elderly

The concept of palliative care focuses on offering treatment to a person with serious medical needs. Palliative care is an essential care that comprises of a specialized treatment of chronic diseases and long term illnesses. The treatment is becoming an important requirement to many nations and states because many young and old people need palliative care. Many people suffer from pain, anxiety, different illness symptoms and depressions that are as a result of long term diseases. The aim of palliative care is to reduce pain, depression, symptoms and stress of people suffering from chronic and severe diseases (Winter & Mockus 2008).

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Palliative care differs from hospice care because it can be offered to patients with various diseases at all stages. The execution of palliative care is carried by doctors and other medical specialists. Doctors and healthcare assistants work together to cure a patient and reduce pain. It is important to understand that palliative care is concerned with treatment of anxiety, pain, depression and other side effects of severe diseases and not curing a disease. Palliative care is provided to patients affected by a chronic illness in order to relieve pains and stress. The concept of palliative care aims at discovering a way to increase the efficiency of the program in the United States and other countries across the world.

A study shows that chronic diseases have become an emerging problem worldwide. Health and counseling departments together with doctors have to join hands and try to make people`s life better. There must be a solution to restore broken and lost hope of patients and their families. There is a need to conduct seminars, trainings, meetings and workshops to familiarize people with the benefits of palliative care. People must be able to differentiate and accept the program of palliative care because it is meant to help in relieving psychological problems associated with chronic diseases. It is time to make sure that people stop suffering and losing hopes because of chronic diseases. Medical practitioners and doctors need to combine their knowledge and skills of handling patients and their families to keep them off pain (Walsh et al. 1994).

Literature Review

The aim of the literature review is to find more information about palliative care and its impacts on different patients and their families. It helps to understand the matter and investigate the mistakes, achievements and recommendations of the concept. This paper is aimed at analyzing the application of palliative care to people with a terminal illness. A study shows that palliative care is provided to patients suffering from a chronic disease. The examples of such diseases include cancer, respiratory disease, cardiac arrest, diabetes and kidney-related problems. Palliative care practitioners involve many disciplines to assist patients, for example, psychology, nursing, pharmacy, counseling, social assistance etc.

Nursing Discipline

Nurses and other medical workers help in administering palliative care to patients and their family. Nursing is a broad profession that comprises many health workers that offer health care to patients. There are those nurses who provide hospice, palliative and other medical care. In the past years, the issue of severe effects of terminal illnesses increased across many countries including the United States. This made the USA try and implement palliative care alongside the standard treatment or care given to the admitted patients and outpatients. This was due to the increased need to provide patients with medication to reduce or end emotional side effects caused by a terminal illness or a chronic disease (Walsh et al. 1994).

Many hospitals and primary health care units have been equipped with necessary infrastructures to allow medical personnel to offer palliative care. It is important to differentiate between hospice and palliative care. Hospice care and palliative care are similar in the target group and the way in which they are offered. Both care programs aim at relieving pain, stress, depression, tension and symptoms of a chronic illness. Hospice care program is aimed at delivering counseling and support care at home, health care units and rarely in hospitals. The program has a number of family caregivers and helpers who work hand in hand with hospice care specialists. Hospice care helps patients who suffer from a terminal illness. Hospice care is given by trained home based workers and family members who try to reduce patients` anxiety, stress and/or depression. This helps to end and minimize development of other side effects associated with stress and pain, including high blood pressure and organs failure (Agar & Abernethy 2011).

Palliative care, on the other hand, is a professional healthcare program that is offered by a team of doctors. The team comprises doctors, nurses, counselors, medical experts and specialists who work as a group to provide palliative care. Many patients suffering from chronic diseases develop mental or emotional problems that make them behave in a unique way since a long term illness makes them lose hope. It is likely and obvious that every human being gets bored and miserable because of a prolonged sickness or disease. This is the same case that happens to patients admitted to different hospitals for a long time and their family members who visit them (Temel 2010).

Long exposure to and treatment of cancer is a good example of a chronic disease that leads to many side effects including social and health issues. The use of chemotherapy to treat cancer can lead to nausea depending on the reaction of a persons body system. It is painful to treat cancer at its advanced stages and many patients experience pain in the entire body that can develop to other problems. This poses a challenge to both palliative and medical specialist to treat pain and kill the cancer cells. The chemotherapy treatment is expensive and significantly impacts a patient`s family. Thus, palliative care must go further to counsel the family members and help them accept the reality. This is an extensive care program and it requires a combined effort of nurses, religious advisers, counselors and experienced doctors (London et al. 2005).

Palliative concept aims at improving the welfare of a patient by making it possible for him or her to feel appreciated despite the illness. The antecedents and history of a patient are analyzed to make sure that good criteria are introduced to help in relieving pain and other psychological effects associated with the disease. If a client is experiencing loss of hope and expectation, then there is a need of providing a counselor to help him or her regain hope (London et al. 2005). A qualified counseling psychologist plays an important role of assuring the patient that not all is lost and that he/she will get healed soon. As a result of these counseling sessions the patient regains faith and energy to continue with medication and mental healing. Palliative care program specialists work to reduce and eliminate symptoms, pain and stress-related effects and to provide doctors with an ample time to cure the disease.

In the past, hospice and palliative care seemed to be separated but the current literature review shows a strong relation between these two health programs. This is because hospice care at times requires the expertise of specialists and doctors in handling some patients with a serious disease. When a patient is having or has developed a terminal illness, it is at times required that he/she visits a hospital for checkups and advice. Terminal illness is an antecedent that is a big trouble to a person giving care to the patient. The family members might not be in a position to provide care to the patient since some diseases require further prescription and testing. The criteria used to give good medication and curing is to offer hope and trust that life doesnt end because of the disease. The patients require a message to grant them peace of mind and give them urge to see tomorrow. The consequences and results of this are improved state of mind, good interrelation with people and the counselors. Trust gives an individual power to kick and move forward to accomplish the intended goals.

From the study carried by medical specialists, it is clear that palliative care is achieving the expected goals. The research team involved interacted with patients who were under palliative care. Patients believe in good results and outcomes because the nursing board together with doctors and medical experts are willing to help. Many patients received palliative care with a good appreciation because the information was delivered in an excellent manner. Palliative care has managed to change the views of pessimistic people to view illness as just a temporary challenge. The criteria used by the doctors and nurses when treating and administering medication require an appraisal.

Many people under palliative care are also taking other medications, and it is a challenging experience. This is because the same medications and treatments are the ones that lead to pain, stress or anxiety, depression, hypertension and organs failure among other different sicknesses (Higginson et al. 2003). Thus, it needs a good guidance, assurance and support for a sick person to continue with palliative care and the standard treatment. Medical specialists are now using different methods to reduce symptoms, stress and pain without necessarily offering medications to patients. This is an emerging trend in medical practice. The specialists argue that the process of putting a patient under many medications can lead to a confused reaction of the body.

Palliative care is a medical plan that is aimed at targeting people with persistent and long term chronic and serious diseases. The study shows that the invention of palliative care was to help the poor or low income individuals and their families fight against different health problems. We find that poor or low class citizens go through a lot of difficulties trying to save life of their loved one or their own lives. Private interviews with several patients show that both hospice and palliative care programs have benefited many people with low income or no income at all. Volunteers said that although the programs are meant to cure the side effects of serious diseases, medical practitioners like nurses, doctors and psychologists help a lot in prescription of the correct medication. A study shows that a consulting fee is a significant burden to many low class citizens suffering from cancer, blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure and many other serious diseases.

Palliative care is intended to give people hope and restore a sense of a good life. Palliative care aims at improving the miserable life of patients. In order to restore faith and hope a convincing speech given by a qualified counselor or a doctor is needed. Nurses and other health workers meet people who are just waiting for death. Some patients even have a negative attitude towards medications. There are patients who have lost the reason to live suffering from pain, anxiety, depression and daily use of pills and injections. These people are found in the society where we live and it is every persons duty starting with neighbors, family members and health workers to support these people (Higginson et al. 2003).

It is tiresome to help sick people go through the procedures to end or reduce pain and stress and it requires good interpersonal skills. The process is a tactical one and at times the choice of a method to be used affects the result of the palliative care. The concept of palliative care is designed and structured in such a way as to accommodate many disciplines but with a clear view of changing the perspective of life. The program is still aimed at reinforcement of hospice care and ensuring that patients have a positive attitude towards life. This type of care helps the family members cope with changes.

Just like hospice care, palliative care makes sure that sick people develop a positive thinking towards illness and prepare for the result. The family members are also educated and counseled on how to handle patients receiving care at home so that they can offer help in trained health workers` absence.

Nursing control has helped a lot in implementation of this important health care program because many specialists understand how to treat patients. The nurses and other health care workers are able to interact with patients and discuss on how to reduce anxiety, nausea, mental problems and phobia. The introduction of palliative care came as a redemption and relief to many sick people with repeated sickness like breathing difficulties and asthma. The palliative team is now advocating for early treatment of any symptoms and signs of anxiety or depressions from patients. The medical department must provide essential support of curing diseases and illness at the possible early stage to make sure that the patient is not exposed to long term side effects. This has been tested, and the results are appealing since we can arrest the development of chronic diseases. If we can be able to treat cancer at an early stage, then we could save much of pain and nausea to a patient because it is curable.

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Results from patients and beneficiaries of palliative care show a good response and are encouraging to the supporters of this program. Many people who have been offered the care praise the nursing team together with doctors for their services. Palliative care centers have treated many patients with chronic diseases and other diseases where a good number of people have recovered (Gelfman et al. 2008). A good number of individuals claim to have been changed by the advices and guidance from the medical team, and many have managed to live free of anxiety. The consequences of different antecedents are been experienced among many citizens from rich and poor families. Research finds outs shows that families are changing and accepting to take care of their loved one because of counseling from distinguished counselors. Nursing department has witnessed positive feedbacks from patients and family members after accepting to take a change (Gelfman et al. 2008).

The palliative team is comprised of specialists, nurses, doctors and community health workers. This team receives quality training despite the professional qualifications so that they are enabled to handle medical problems mental tortures. Although there are specialized doctors in different categories, a palliative care team of specialists consists of qualified counselors and medical experts. This has contributed, and it will still contribute to the establishment of trust and faith that lead to confidence. Doctors and nurses deal with patients in such a way that the latter start to trust and understand their doctors and nurses and as a result they believe that positive changes will happen. Nurses are the first to bring about a changes] since they are constantly in touch with patients.

This analysis is also aimed at raising suggestions and proposals regarding the treatment of severe pain, symptoms and anxiety. The study suggests that people suffering from chronic diseases should receive palliative care without any force or fear. This program is entitled to help people for free and hence patients and members of the community should also help others support the program. Many people involved in this study of palliative care proposed that nurses and other medical specialist should continue to get additional data to help them support patients. The respondents of the field study provided a good feedback regarding the value of this care. They say that palliative care has helped to increase the quality of life and promote behavior change. As a result of palliative care many patients regained their lost hope, faith and expectations. This care has revived the positive perceptions of a serious disease and many people have developed a good reaction to dealing with illness. The doctors have commented on a positive change in the treatment acceptance, and reduced symptoms, nausea, pain, stress, anxiety and depression.

People should understand the meaning and value of palliative care. Nurses and doctors must be able to establish an efficient communication with patients to allow sick people to freely express their feelings. People should consider the criteria and the consequences or results of addressing the problem in a number of ways. All patients registered to receive palliative care must be kept under surveillance to make sure that they get better every day. This is because they require support, encouragement, hope and medication to keep them focused on being healed. Patients expect a lot from their family members and nurses, and this is the reason why a good communication line should be established. In order to heal a terminal ill patient care, positive expectations and established trust are needed. These criteria provide a good basis to establish a splendid interrelationship between nurses and patients. The consequence is improved health and quality of life.

The nursing discipline focuses on healing the disease, side effects and emotional problems. The main aim of palliative care is to free patients from risks of new infections and treatment of a terminal illness and other health problems, among which are lost hope, anxiety, depression, nausea, lack of trust, uncertainty, fear and lack of self control. Nurses ensure that they treat both a disease and the related problems to make sure that the patient is healthy and continue to live in peace (Elsayem, 2006).

Palliative care makes sure that people accept their situation and view death as a life event. The nursing team is assigned the responsibility of palliative care to guarantee patients` improved life. The criteria used by a nursing discipline are provision of cure and support, preparation for the end of life, comprehensive care and compassionate treatment. Therefore, the results of this care from a nursing perspective are sustained quality of life, care and support. Other results are self-respect, ability to make sound decisions, tolerance, hope, control, determination, and social and family support. Thus, nursing discipline is very important in palliative care. This is because the team of doctors, nurses and other health experts has distinguished experience and skills to treat patients. The team treats diseases at all stages. Many health experts involved in provision of palliative care managed to treat diseases and reduce anxiety and frustration in patients.

Sociology

Sociology is concerned with relationship between people who live together. The concept of palliative care and support goes beyond healing a patient and defeating symptoms of a disease. This concept argues that health workers are the mentors of the community and should receive quality training to help curb health issues. A study reveals the importance of health workers for accomplishment of goals of palliative care.

Social health workers and primary health care units were selected to educate people on the need to speak about their problems. These social health workers speak on behalf of people who suffer from a chronic sickness, terminal illness and other health affecting problems. The duty and responsibility of a social health worker is to link sick people and their family to different care such as palliative, hospice, Medicaid or other health schemes. Sociology has similar approach to nursing, but the criteria differ because of the diversity of activities. Palliative workers in sociology are concerned with support offered to access medical care by enhancing effective communication.

Social health workers have good experience and knowledge to handle health issues of people suffering from a terminal illness or serious symptoms of a sickness. They support and restore faith to both a patient and his/her family to help the family take care of the sick person. They help in defining and interpreting a doctors directions to make sure that sick people follow the doctors prescription and advice. Social control is important because it has good results like regained trust, self-respect and control, prevention of tension, anxiety and shock when a sick person dies (Elsayem, 2006). They educate people on how to cope with pain, fear, loss of life and other uncertainties that might arise. The team of social health workers works hard to counsel and guide patients and their family on the steps to be taken in times of emergency. The outcomes of sociology are improved communication, relationships and a patients autonomy.

Psychology

Psychology deals with a decision-making process of an individual (Wasserman 2007). Psychology is another discipline aimed at assistance during the application of palliative care. Psychologists argue that sick people do not make clear or wise decisions. According to different researches a sickness affects the decision making process of a person. This social regulation helps patients eliminate anxiety and depression by conducting a counseling interview. Psychologists work with other professionals to make sure that sick people make sound decisions regarding medication, checkups and positive living. They try to ensure that patients are in good relations with medical specialists and that their needs are represented. These groups of professionals concentrate on helping patients make decisions. Health workers are able to determine the best treatment for a patient depending on the disease he or she is suffering from. Psychologists help people with a terminal illness to get used to the idea of death (Elsayem 2006).

Promoters of a psychological approach believe that it good to allow people to realize the truth of matter. Counselors help patients with a terminal illness to believe death will come. This is done with much care to make sure that right interpretation and intentions are delivered. The outcomes are acceptance of death and improvement of life.

Summary

All the above disciplines are in agreement regarding the goals of palliative care. In every discipline there are similar outcomes of palliative care (Huiet al. 2010). This shows the relationship of different disciplines when solving many issues that exist in the community. They differ only in some criteria and formulae of solving a problem because each regulation follows different rules of information and experience. All disciplines emphasize a need to provide patients with good care, make them enjoy life and get them prepared to leave their families due to death. The disciplines analyzed in this paper help to give a clear objective of palliative care. They all show the value of the proposed palliative care program.

Antecedent

In this paper antecedents have been the problems which palliative care is meant to solve. They include low self esteem, lack of control, fear, uncertainty, terminal illness, a chronic or serious illness and loss of hope.

Criteria

Criteria are the formulae used to solve a problem, and in this paper there are different criteria such as counseling, safety and medications.

Consequences

These are the final results or impacts of a problem after the implementation of the suggested criteria or solutions. In this paper, some of the consequences include improved health life, good decision making and good relations with a patient`s family members.

Theoretical Definition

Palliative care is a health program that aims at helping patients recover from an illness or other related health issues and helping them increase their independence. It is a program that has seen hospitals and local clinics provide care to patients suffering from a terminal illness.

Operational Definition

A palliative care program is a health concept that aims at improving live of people with a chronic disease and/or a terminal illness. Palliative care involves activities of assuring patients of a better life despite the challenges they are trying to fight.

Conclusion

Palliative care is an important health concept that is designed to increase the autonomy of a patient. This approach is intended to treat patients suffering from a terminal illness or chronic disease, and ensure that the patient`s family is involved in provision of help to the patient. This program has a positive impact on patients` life and psychological state.

The Breakdown of Palliative Care

Antecedent

Criteria

Consequences

Lost Hope

Assurance of good life

Improved health

Terminal illness

Care and expectations

Improved communication and relationship

Pain

Medication

Reduction and end of chronic pain

Depression and stress

Counseling

Recovered mental health

Serious and chronic disease

Protection

Wise and sound decisions

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