Providing healthcare to older adults is a process of meeting the necessary health related needs unique to the majority of senior citizens. The scope of the services provided to elderly individuals in healthcare care centers entails day care for the adults, assisted living, and in many cases, long term elderly care, especially those with or developing chronic conditions (Miller, 2008). The trend of placing elderly individuals in specialized healthcare centers is increasing. This can be attributed to the rise in the number of senior citizens, particularly the baby boomers. This report gives the outcome of an interview conducted in Winterhaven Healthcare Center. The center is located in Houston, Texas. The interviewee was the administrator of the health center, Charles Vallier.
The outcome of interview
The visit to the center sought to know various issues regarding the old adults’ healthcare experience at the center. Asked about the effects of the psychosocial issues on the older adults and their families, the interviewee indicated that the effects were significantly numerous: one of the prominent ones that came out was stress. As one becomes aged, his or her health deteriorates to the point at which he or she may not be able to undertake or participate in certain activities. This can be traumatic to the old adults. Many older adults are never comfortable in such a situation and stress may set in if this becomes the case. The older people are prone to chronic conditions. In this case, it is always the responsibility of the family members to provide the necessary care required. This comes with some amount of time and financial implications. The time and finances may not be readily available easily hence subjecting the older adults to some level of suffering. When the family members cannot give adequate healthcare to their older adults, they tend to be traumatized. Therefore, many of those who cannot take care of them decide to take them to the healthcare centers established all over the nation so that they can concentrate on income generating activities.
The other effect is that when the older adults are taken to healthcare centers, they suffer a sense of detachment from their families and also the usually familiar environments. Their families also have a similar experience. Nonetheless, for the older adults, they no longer have the freedom to act on their own. This is because, in the healthcare center, they are guided by healthcare professionals on what to do and what kind of meals to take. In other words, they lose the control of some of their personal affairs to the administrators of the healthcare center.
When the interviewee was asked on the availability of resources to assist both the older adults and their families, he stated that in deed the resources are available. The healthcare center has a bed capacity of 160 individuals with 90% occupancy. The interviewee also indicated that the facility has sufficient number of nurses who have experience and highly qualified in taking care of the older adults. Moreover, the interviewee also showed that the Winterhaven Healthcare center has a well equipped hospital with qualified doctors. The hospital is known as Doctors Hospital Tidwell and is strategically situated near the center. Regarding the families of the older adults, the interviewee indicated that Winterhaven Healthcare has a reliable transport arrangement to help take older adults to the center. This saves the families from delay in cases of emergency. He also indicated that Winterhaven Healthcare center has spacious points and friendly environment in which the older adults, their families and friends can interact. This allows the family members to have quality time with their older adults.
As older adults continue to age, they undergo a lot of psychological and social changes besides their deteriorating health. As a result, they are always faced with a significant number of psychosocial issues to cope with. In relation to Winterhaven Healthcare center, older adults were found to cope with a number of psychosocial problems. If these issues are not dealt with, they may have more negative impacts on an older adult’s deteriorating health conditions. The interviewee indicated that some of the adults using the services of the facility have experienced dementia; dementia is an irremediable deterioration of an individual’s intellectual capability. This is normally accompanied by emotional instability and disturbance. The affected older adults are forced to cope with this condition since it cannot be effectively given medical intervention or personal choice. The older adults were also said to cope with depression. Even though there are medical interventions to this condition, many older adults seeking the services of Winterhaven Healthcare still suffer from depression due to feelings of helplessness. In fact depression might have resulted from stresses of life they face. This has driven some of them to get into alcohol abuse. Besides, some of the older adults in the facility have been observed to suffer from the Alzheimer’s Diseases (Callone, 2010).; this disease is progressive and often leaves an individual unable to formulate new memories. It is characterized by loss of other vital cognitive functions. Alzheimer’s disease may have similar effects as dementia disease as they both affect the mental and cognitive capacity of the victims (Meiner & Lueckenotte, 2006).
The psychosocial issues associated with older adults have far reaching negative effects to the older adults in general. The interviewee was asked to give how the psychosocial issues affect the older adults in Winterhaven Healthcare center. The response pointed at Dementia. Many gerontologists concur that Dementia is a condition that affects the majority older adults worldwide. It becomes worse as the ages of the older adults increase. In Winterhaven Healthcare center, it was found to be one of the major problems with psychosocial effects in the older adults. Due to this, it has become almost impossible for the older adults to engage in intellectual conversations with their friends and family members. This gives them a lot of emotional disturbance and leads them to suffer from other conditions such as anxiety and even paranoia. This may also lead to depression and hence further deterioration in their health. The interviewee further indicated that the Winterhaven Healthcare center has dealt with mental conditions related to symptoms arising from the effects of Dementia. Moreover, a significant number of older adults have been brought to the center due to effects of Dementia. According to the interviewee, some of the observed health effects of Dementia included head trauma and stroke (Buijssen, 2005).
When asked about the most common psychosocial issue within Winterhaven Healthcare center, the interviewee stated that depression was the most common one. This was evident from the observation of older adults present at the center at the time of the visit. Many of the older adults at the center showed some signs of depression. In many cases, depression in older adults may me as a result of health deterioration, isolation and loneliness, reduced feelings of sense of purpose and bereavement (Wahl, 2006). The interviewee confirmed that a good number of older adults suffering from depression at the center actually have had the foregoing experiences in life.
The Winterhaven Healthcare center is located in Houston Texas where it provides healthcare to older adults. The center has a number of older adults with various conditions arising from old age experience. Winterhaven Healthcare center has various facilities and resources that enable it to take care of the older adults. Besides, the center also provides a serene environment in which the older adults can interact with family and friends. Older adults suffer from various consequences of aging. Some of these may be dementia, Alzheimer’s Diseases and depression. This has seen an increase in the number of healthcare centers for the older adults within the country (Hogste, 2001).
Buijssen, H. (2005). The simplicity of dementia: a guide for family and carers. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Callone, P. (2010). Alzheimer’s disease: The Dignity Within: A Handbook for Caregivers, Family, and Friends. United Kingdom: ReadHowYouWant.com.
Hogstel, M. (2001). Gerontology: nursing care of the older adult. New York: Cengage Learning.
Meiner, S. & Lueckenotte, A. (2006). Gerontologic nursing. Michigan: Mosby/Elsevier.
Miller, C. (2008). Nursing for wellness in older adults. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Wahl, H. (2006). The many faces of health, competence and well-being in old age: integrating epidemiological, psychological and social perspectives. New York: Springer.