The dedication and love of caregivers are essential to the health of the chronically ill

Caregivers often have a hard time and do not always receive the recognition they deserve. A comprehensive review study appears, while essential to the recovery and prognosis of sick loved ones.

Even the condition of the patient’s home determines recovery after hospitalization. Chronically ill adults who are cared for with love and dedication after discharge from hospital are less likely to need readmission. Therefore the informal caregiver plays an important role in improving the prognosis of the sick person.

Helping hand
Researcher Kristin Levoy of the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, US, and her team conducted a meta-analysis of 54 studies and more than 31,000 subjects. Research published in the magazine healthcare from the Americans public health association figured out, Show clearly Informal caregivers are important in the transition from one situation to another, for example from hospital to home or from home to nursing home. It is therefore very useful to actively consult with your caregiver after discharge from hospital and to offer a helping hand if necessary.

Researchers don’t just think of tips and advice on how to deal with illness and give medication to the person in question. It is also important to explain in advance what the signs are, since help should be called from the hospital. Through computer video chats about the situation at home, informal caregivers can receive support from the hospital and ask questions about the coordination of care.

Older people with chronic diseases often have to move. Photo: Barabasa

often forget
“In my doctor’s office, I had multiple times that informal caregivers came to me to discuss their situation. They came up with questions about the health crisis of their loved ones and felt they were not optimally prepared for everything that comes with providing care,” says Levoy.

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“These loving caregivers felt overwhelmed by the time and energy needed to properly care for their loved ones. Sometimes they didn’t know what to do with the situation, and they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to deal with the difficult decisions they suddenly faced,” explains the assistant professor at the University of Groningen. . Indiana University College of Nursing From. That’s while informal caregivers are critical in diagnosing patients with chronic diseases. “We need to support and educate these people a lot more. They often get skipped, but they are a very important part of a health plan,” Levoy said.

Individual customization
They don’t always feel that way, on the contrary. “They often feel forgotten, especially during acute health crises such as hospitalization. Our job is to provide them with all the tools needed for successful care. This is individual customization. This task only becomes more important when the chronic disease is in an advanced stage and the patient’s illness and treatment becomes more complex. “.

The older the patient, the more severe cases occur. There is a high probability that a new hospital admission, or admission to a nursing home, will be required, with periods of informal care at home. On average, there are two to five such transitions every year in the life of an elderly person with a chronic disease. In order to steer this in the right direction for both the sick person and the informal caregiver, more intense collaboration between professional caregivers and informal caregivers is needed, Levoy says. “We must strive to make home caregivers feel at all times that they are not alone by offering a listening ear. We also have to make time for consultation to answer more technical questions. In this way, the chance of subsequent hospitalization is greatly reduced.”

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Informal sponsorship in the Netherlands
Informal caregivers are people who provide assistance to people in need in their immediate social environment. The Netherlands has nearly 5 million informal caregivers (one in three Dutch people aged 16 or over). More than 800,000 informal caregivers provide assistance for more than three months and more than eight hours per week. Almost half a million informal caregivers feel overburdened. About one in four employees combine paid work with informal care.

Megan Vasquez

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