Home Health Agency is supportive health care that is provided by the health professionals to the patients in their homes. This care can also be provided by the family and friends of the patient. Home care is also referred to as non medical care that may be provided by medical personnel in the patient’s home setting. However, the person may not necessarily be sick but may be a vulnerable person such as the aged. The homecare providers may either be from an independent homecare agency that are hired by the patient, or part of a statutory responsibility of some social service department who provide care through their employees such as nurses and doctors. During the nurses follow ups in the patient’s home, the assisted living facilities and in the boarding care home, I came across various patients who were suffering from various conditions such as depression, dementia and anxiety.
Factors associated with depression, dementia and anxiety in patients under home care
Most of the patients under home care were found to suffer from depression, dementia and anxiety which were associated with their experiences under the home care. These conditions are mostly found with those under boarding care homes that are under confinement all their time. Depression is very common among the elderly who under specialised care. The main cause of depression was thought to be the reduced mobility, the institutionalization and decline in their functions. These people are mostly denied of their social life and the only people they may talk to are those under similar conditions as them. This depression can also be associated with the trauma due to change of one’s life from a free life to a confined one. Before one adapts to such life, there are very high chances of the person to suffer from depression. The place where they are brought is also unfamiliar and they are not used to most of the people they find there. All these factors may lead to increase mental suffering of the patient and this lead to depressive thoughts on the patients. Another factor that was thought to cause the depression was separation from the family. This person is in a critical condition and is separated from the family. This tortures the mind of such people and they may get depressed.
Anxiety among the patients under the home care was also associated with their condition. This was common among all the patients including those in their homes and others in the boarding facilities. Anxiety was associated with the fear of unknown. The conditions that these people were in, some were very ill, some were very old and others with various problems. They therefore did not know what will happen to their conditions and they lived in that fear. Our presence as the medical personnel also caused anxiety among the patients since every time they expected us to give them good news regarding their progress. Even in our absence, these people lived in anxiety since they were worried whether they will get back to their normal lives (Rice, 2006).
Dementia was also another common problem with the patients under home care agency. This was mostly associated with their institutionalization. The most common symptoms of dementia among these patients were lack of sleep, loss of memory and delirium. Dementia mostly occurred among the old people and few cases of the other groups of patients. The main cause of dementia in these patients was some of the diseases that they had suffered from there before and the drugs used in treating these diseases. These patients mostly experienced loss of sleep and this contributed to their condition. This loss of sleep was also due to the environment that they were living in, mystery associated with separation from the family and also the disease. Delirium is a condition associated with dementia that was also experienced by those particular patients. This was seen as loss of attention and inability to concentrate. We highly experienced this as we were addressing various issues among the patients where most of them could not concentrate on what we were telling them. Most of the patients were also experiencing memory loss and could not remember what we had discussed with them earlier.
Home care nursing concepts
The whole idea of accompanying the nurses during their home care visits gave me an ideal clinical experience which is very different from the one gained in the hospital setting. The main aspect was to learn how to interact with the patients in their home settings. This called for the concept of adaptation where we had to adapt to the home environment setting of the patient so that we can properly administer our nursing care. The other concept was on how to deal with those patients experiencing the varied mental issues such as dementia, anxiety and depression. However, all these required that we approach the patient in a friendly manner, and show them the best care we could (Rice, 2006).
Through my interaction with the nurses as we administered care to those patients, I learnt various concepts of dealing with those people and also how to address them in such a way that their hope is restored. Home based care was also important for maintaining the confidentiality of the patient since they are treated within their private settings. However, this is a challenge to the medical personnel because some patients may start behaving violently. Generally, the whole issue was to give me nursing experience that is different from the one on the hospital setting. This played a great role in enhancing my nursing experience and interaction with different types of patients.