Transcultural Issues in Treating Elderly
In a country where the population is aging, it is essential to pay special attention to the most vulnerable group, elderly people. It is noteworthy that many elderly people try to stick to traditions and their habits (Orlovsky, 2004). Therefore, in nursing homes as well as in hospitals, these people are eager to maintain their ordinary life (of, course if it is possible clinically). Notably, some hospitals tend to meet these peoples needs. For instance, Orlovsky (2004) mentions a Korean ward in one of Chicago hospitals. The ward has beds that are lower to make them closer to the floor, which is common for Korean homes. Remarkably, there is also a specific diet for these patients that includes traditional Korean dishes.
Johnstone and Kanitsaki (2009) stress that the nocebo phenomenon is becoming common among elderly patients and their families due to the inability and sometimes unwillingness of healthcare professionals as well as officials to . There can be communication issues in some hospitals as patients often speak a language other than English and the staff has difficulties in such situations. In many hospitals, a diverse workforce is one of the solutions exploited to address this issue. It is also noteworthy that apart from cultural issues patients lack of knowledge about their conditions and tools to improve their general state also contributes to the tension between patients and medical staff.
It is necessary to note that a variety of strategies for . For instance, Douglas et al. (2011) provide a set of standards that includes social justice, critical reflection, knowledge of cultures, culturally competent practice, multicultural workforce, education and training, cross-cultural leadership, and policy development. At the same time, it is also important to remember about patients self-awareness as this is the key to their wellbeing when they are home. Ability to understand the cultural peculiarities of a patient may be a bridge to develop proper communication channels and raise patients awareness about their conditions and approaches they have to employ to maintain certain lifestyles.
As far as I am concerned, I have always understood that the needs of elderly people differ from those of younger generations. Older people need specific attention and care. They often suffer from serious disorders and may be in constant pain that cannot be soothed. This affects elderly peoples behavior and the way they treat others including healthcare professionals. It is noteworthy that there is a lot of bias among healthcare professionals (sometimes I may be biased as well though I always try to remain unbiased) who think that it is very difficult to treat elderly people who are always dissatisfied and complaining.
I believe there is a stereotype that an elderly person is a necessary grumpy individual who makes complaints and treats healthcare professionals as servants and enemies and makes their shifts intolerable. Healthcare professionals tend to be unwilling to treat the elderly due to possible difficulties and stereotypes mentioned above.
At the same time, I hardly ever thought of cultural issues elderly people might face in hospitals or nursing homes. I have always focused on clinical issues (symptoms, pain, treatment, and so on). Of course, I understood that lots of healthcare professionals have linguistic difficulties. However, I never thought of elderly peoples desire to preserve their habits when in a hospital or nursing home. Healthcare professionals may lack the necessary knowledge and they often fail to understand these peoples needs, which is an additional disadvantage for patients who develop the nocebo phenomenon. Admittedly, it is hardly possible to speak of high-quality services if a patients psychological state is not perfect (and this is the case when a person is deprived of some things).
I believe research is one of the most effective strategies healthcare professionals have to utilize. In the first place, novice nurses will learn about major trends in the field. It is essential to remain updated. It is necessary to add that when it comes to transcultural issues research may help change personal attitudes. For instance, when a nurse understands that there can be numerous cultural issues, he/she may implement further research to learn more about existing strategies. Besides, each nurse has to be aware of the most effective strategies to exploit when treating an elderly person. The nurse should be able to raise awareness among elderly patients. The nurse is responsible for providing information on the disorder and the way patients health can be improved through clinical procedures as well as certain lifestyles.
It is possible to consider an example to understand the benefits of such an approach. Mrs. Norma James, a widow, is 65 and lives alone. She has two sons but she is rather antisocial. She has diabetes type 2, hypertension, and atria fibrillation. She has smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day for the past forty years. Noncompliance medication Coumadin, captopril, Glipizide, and digoxin. She does not keep to the appointment and she has developed an open sore on her ankle. She used folk remedies to cure the sore. After a stroke, she was taken to hospital. Her sons were notified and one came to the hospital to help.