Good health is an essential element of a person’s happy and fulfilling life. In maintaining it, effective communication between the health care provider and the patient is critical. Education in healthy behavior and information necessary for preventive care can become effective measures to improve health. Moreover, education is vital after suffering illness or injury, as well as during hospitalization and treatment of the patient. While compliance with guidelines and rules depends on the patients themselves, training is part of the nurse’s responsibilities (McQuerrey, 2019). This paper focuses on the experience of older people in the healthcare system. Despite the obligation to provide complete information about care to patients, due to lack of time, organizational problems, and many other possible reasons, health education for older people is insufficient.
Care for senior patients has its features – they need not only the support of relatives but also qualified medical advice. While doctors lack time for all patients, the older generation is perceived condescendingly as those who have already lived a long life. Patients themselves also feel this attitude and are afraid to take extra time from a professional. The interviewee, who used the right to anonymity, said: “I did not understand why I needed some medicines, but I saw how they [medical personnel] were in a hurry and did not want to distract. If the doctor says I need medicine, then I should take it.”(Student’s last name, 2021). Thus, the older generation has a respectful attitude towards medical professions and a fear of defending their right to health care.
Another factor affecting the health of older people is the lack of awareness of preventive measures. The majority of the population is focused on the specific aspects of life – work to feed the family and have a roof over the head, caring for relatives. Simultaneously, self-care often fades into the background, and the treatment of diseases is reduced to a discussion of diagnosis and prescriptions. The interviewer also noted: “It has always been difficult to get to the reception, and there is not enough time to wait in a long queue” (Student’s last name, 2021). The free time and rest of most people are usually devoted to home-keeping, or passive activities, which leads to insufficient physical activity. The importance of regular checks with doctors and even of outdoor walks are not sufficiently highlighted.
Loss of ability to care about self is also a concern for older people, and they are often confused about what they can do. For example, the interviewer reported: “I am lucky since my family is large and lives near me. They help me find out the necessary information or send a courier with products if I feel ill. However, I have acquaintances who have to do this on their own – it is tough for them.” (Student’s last name, 2021). Wealthy people in such cases can hire an assistant, but some face problems alone. Moreover, the situation is complicated by the rapid development of technologies that the older generation finds difficult to understand or even access. Consequently, it is challenging for them to use such opportunities as delivery, online queue, or telemedicine.
Thus, insufficient health education among the older generation has negative consequences. With insufficient preventive measures and difficulties in receiving consultation from professionals, they exacerbate health problems. Those who live alone are forced to deal with health problems independently and usually do not know what to do to help themselves. Moreover, older patients may not receive proper treatment since the doctor’s time preference is given to the younger generation. When health professionals are interested in providing care, they may be limited by other factors, for example, time constraints.
McQuerrey, L. (2019). Role of patient teaching for the professional nurse. Chron. Web.
Student’s last name, Initial. (2021). Anonymous interview [Interview].