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Caring for the Vulnerable Population, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 614

Essay

There are various factors to consider when designing an elderly day care center for Alzheimer’s patients. Safety is of paramount importance. The center must have safety measures to deter patients from wandering and other behaviors related with Alzheimer’s patients (Alzheimer’s Association, 1995). Assistance with personal care such as toileting must be considered when designing the center. Medical services provided by healthcare professionals such as nurses and therapists must be readily available. The facility should be designed to support wheelchairs.

Services provided by social workers must also be considered and availed at the center. The center must also provide opportunities for education and should promote the hobbies and interests of the patient. In addition, meals, social activities, transportation must be considered in designing the center.

For a center with twenty residents, a nurse practitioner or any other healthcare professional, kitchen staff, nutritionist, driver, and social workers are the necessary staff. Speech, physical, and occupational therapist are also vital members of staff. Volunteers may also be encouraged to work in the center. The main facilities of the center should provide physical, speech, and occupational therapy. The physical therapy facility can contain equipment such as treadmills, bicycles, leg presses, and arm bicycles. The facility must be manned by a physical therapist (Alzheimer’s Association, 1995).

A speech therapy facility aims at restoring problem solving skills, memory, and communication. Occupational therapy facility helps patients meet their occupations (Alzheimer’s Association, 1995). Equipments used in physical therapy are also used in occupational therapy in boosting the hand strength and agility. Other facilities will include a kitchen, a movie hall, and gym, meeting hall, dressing room and lounge, bedrooms, healthcare center and toilet facilities in the center.

The first activity of the day will involve a session with a medical practitioner to assess any healthcare issues. A session in the gym then follows for purposes of physical and occupational therapy. Snacks are served at ten o’clock then followed by assistance with activities of daily living like bathing and grooming. These services may not have a time specification depending on the needs of the patient. Lunch is then served at twelve o’clock followed a social activity such as watching a movie. A four o’clock snack is then served then followed by a fellowship session before the patient departs at five o’clock.

Although meals are served at proper times, the center will make food available at any time of the day to cater for different needs of the patient. The meals provided are balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits nod juices. Considerations for a patient’s favorite meal are taken into consideration.

A weekly budget of the center will include the following:

Food- $ 1,000

Toiletries- $ 150

Transportation- $ 500

Employees- $ 7,000

Miscellaneous expenses- $ 1,000

Total cost- $ 9,500

Establishing a day care for Alzheimer’s patient in vulnerable society such as the rural Appalachia is a challenging task. This group is racially isolated and is not integrated in the healthcare system. Considering the cost of healthcare, a majority of the population in these areas are not covered with health insurance, which could help because some costs in care centers are covered with insurance (Shi & Stevens, 2010). Geographical isolation makes Alzheimer’s patients from this population unable to access specialty care even with insurance. The geographical isolation of rural Appalachia requires the stationing of a nurse practitioner in the center with unique skills of working with vulnerable populations in areas with limited resources. The most suitable program for a center in such an area is the use of academic nurse in managed health centers.

References

Alzheimer’s Association. (1995). Living with Alzheimer’s. Caring for Alzheimer’s: Behaviors.       www.alz.org retrieved on 10/13/2012

Shi, L & Stevens, G. (2010). Vulnerable Populations in the United States. Boston: John Wiley & Sons

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