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Advocacy for Patients, Case Study Example

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Case Study

Patients who have suffered life-threatening illnesses and are facing long-term disability need caring and knowledgeable individuals to help them on a daily basis in order to attempt to live a quality of life that is positive and meaningful. Many patients that have suffered strokes or other such events have family members who are willing to provide this care in order to ensure their loved ones have needed medications, food, and other supplies in order to live as independently as possible for as long as it is feasible. In this paper, an elderly patient who has suffered a cardiovascular event and is also a diabetic lives alone and is in need of several resources. Her needs as well as the importance of patient advocacy will be discussed.

Bessie recently suffered a CVA and is also a diabetic. She is elderly, has poor vision, and lives alone. She is without transportation and is in need of food, a safe environment, and help with her daily medication administration. Bessie does not want to lose her independence, but understands there is a need for someone to help fill the void due to her chronic conditions. There are programs in place for patients like Bessie that will help with the transportation of elderly individuals around the community in order to run errands. There are also programs in place that will allow Bessie to have access to a social worker or case manager, dietitian, and physical or occupational therapist in order to help with the safety issues in her environment as well as setting up a plan for her medication administration and food consumption (Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 2012).

Bessie most likely has a government assisted form of insurance and there have been many programs created during the past few years that help the elderly with prescription benefits, utility payment assistance, and healthcare assistance (Dedicated to Advocacy, Education, Awareness, and Support, 2012). It is important that Bessie communicate her living conditions with her physician in order to have these programs explained to her and to ensure a case manager will be assigned if she participates in one of the provided programs.

Due to the insulin dependent conditions of her illness, Bessie has the option of needles that are prefilled with medication. This would make administration much more efficient and safe. It would also allow her to remain independent in that aspect of her life for a bit longer. An occupational or physical therapist could help Bessie with rehabilitation on an outpatient basis if the senior transportation provides services to the hospital. If not, there most likely is a home health agency that would be sufficient to handle this as well as the nutritional aspect of her care. The home health nurse could also serve as someone to quickly evaluate her home for potential safety hazards and pass along her recommendations to Bessie in order to have these repaired.

The tragedy in this case is that Bessie wants to remain independent. This is why patient advocacy is so important. The public must have a strong voice because so many elderly individuals find themselves alone and in need of services before they are ready and willing to give up their independence. The government and other non governmental organizations have made progress in the recent past with the implementation of many programs designed to help the elderly. It is important this progress continues as the population ages and illnesses become more treatable, but linger for life.

References

Dedicated to Advocacy, Education, Awareness, and Support. (2012). Retrieved from Diabetes Advocacy: http://www.diabetesadvocacy.com/index.htm

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (2012). Stroke/Neurology Rehabilitation Program. Retrieved from Spaulding Rehabilitation Network: http://www.spauldingrehab.org/OurPrograms/strokedetails

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