Therapeutic Care for the Elderly Community


TherapeuticCare for the Elderly Community

Dateof Submission:


Addressingthe emotional needs of the elderly in any health care environment ischallenging. Sometimes, the emotional needs are being overlooked dueto various health problems the elderly patients experience.Therapeutic care is one effective way of addressing the quality ofcare presented to the elderly. The therapeutic care provides hopesince it facilitates effective communication and offers anopportunity to develop meanings by reviewing the health status of theelderly patient. Older adults who are eligible for nursing home careremain to reside in the community and are presented with effectivetransportation means, which are used to meet comprehensive healthcare services. With all the assumptions made the essay clearlypresent the therapeutic care for the elderly community. The paperfocuses on different therapeutic care provided to the elderly wherebythe elder abuse is briefly discussed with supporting arguments usingprevious work. The paper highlights different therapeutic means ofimproving therapeutic care to the elderly adults within thecommunity.

Sincehealth care has become a serious business worldwide, it is crucialfor health care professionals and other health providers to performtheir work in order to provide improved quality of care. Edmunds andMayhew (2013) explain that having respect to personal healthy is themost effective therapeutic communications for the elderly. Abusingthe elderly has contributed to the neglect and harming the olderpeople. Elder abuse is a threat that contributes to the injury, painand impairment (Edmunds &amp Mayhew, 2013). Abusing the elderlypersons occurs mainly in primary living residence of the olderpeople, in the home, and may takes place in a nursing home or in anyother long term care facility.

Tamparoand Lindh (2008) indicate that there are many evidences thattherapeutic communication between healthcare providers and elderlypatients indirectly or directly determine the quality care ofpatients. With such assumptions, the major focus of this paper is aclear illustration of therapeutic care for the elderly community inhealthcare set ups.



Elderabuse takes place in various forms. Physical abuse involves threatsand harming the elderly, which can contribute to pain, impairment andinjury to the elder persons. Feddersen and Lüdtke (2009) indicatethat physical and psychological abuse also affects the elderly in thecommunity. Such abuse includes lack of basic emotional support to theelderly, love, and respect. Psychological abuse results in isolatingthe elderly from family and friends. Intimidating and threatening theelderly people affects psychological health of the elderly (Feddersen&amp Lüdtke, 2009). Neglecting or abandoning the elderly personsin the community affect the psychological status of the elderlypatients since it leads to the denial of important needs. Theneglected person in the community lacks the basic needs, such asshelter, food, water, medicine, and safety. Such neglect orabandonment to the elderly occurs when the healthcare provider or thecaregiver neglects the vulnerable elder adult. With such abuse to theelderly in the community, the nurses or any other health professionalshould be attentive to the information passed on by the patienteither verbally or non-verbally (Adams &amp Jones, 2010).

Inrelation to therapeutic care for the elderly, it is important forhealthcare professionals to consider that older people alsoexperience some illnesses at their older age. Tamparo and Lindh(2008) assert that chronic diseases that include arthritis, vision,hearing, diabetes, and hypertension are some of the illnessesaffecting the elderly persons. Besides chronic illness, the elderlyalso experience loss of self-identity, and may experience the feelingof belonging, especially when they experience lifestyle changes((Muñoz, Luckmann &amp Luckmann, 2005). The elderly people wishesto admire the accomplishments of activities that were not achieved inthe younger stages. They need more time for personal safety, goodhealth, and financial security. With such assumptions, providingimproved therapeutic care is important.

TherapeuticCare for the Elderly Community

Tamparoand Lindh (2008) explain that nurses and other health professionalsemploy various therapeutic techniques to create a strong relationshipwith the elderly patients. The selection of such techniques reliesupon strongly on the aim of the collaboration and the capability ofpatients to effectively communicate verbally. The healthcare providerhas to master every therapeutic communication technique so as to havethe ability to choose the proper technique that can facilitatecommunication and strengthen nurse-patient relationships (Tamparo &ampLindh, 2008). Therapeutic communication techniques assist patients totrust and relax. The therapeutic techniques are explained below:


Providingadditional time to the elderly patients is important as it assist incompensating for any psychological changes. Elderly patients needsmore time to dress, or ambulate therefore assistance from the nurseis of great importance. Besides, more time is required so as toexplain therapeutically procedures for the elderly (Muñoz, Luckmann&amp Luckmann, 2005). The nurse provides clear explanation to theclients on how to take care of themselves, and especially when theyare sick. Tamparo and Lindh (2008) explain that additional time isconsidered while presenting therapeutic care to the elderly. Thenurses talk clearly and slowly to the patients and this allow themfor sensory deprivation and can make the elderly patients raise anyquestions concerning their sensory health.


Oneof the major concepts identified in older age groups is effectivetherapeutic communication. Therapeutic communication is essential inthe fact that it assists the elderly patients to be in touch with thecaregivers. Tamparo and Lindh (2008) indicate that the application ofbroad opening statement enables patients to set direction ofeffective communication. The healthcare professional gives theelderly patients an opportunity to express their feelings. Byapplying such opening statement, the healthcare provider focuses theinteraction directly on the patient and communicates with the patientto demonstrate his understandings of patient’s problems (Haller &ampKramer, 2006). Upon realizing the problems of the patient, the nurseor any healthcare professional may use broad opening statement toinstigate conversation (Lewis, 2003). The broad opening statementalso facilitates the patient to evaluate what will be conferred. Whena nurse gives the patient that opportunity to open the conversation,the nurse can follow the lead in order to determine the meaning ofpatient’s problems and encourage the patient by comments orquestions so as to express himself further.


Cultureis an important therapeutic factor to be considered while caring forthe elderly community. The health care professionals have tounderstand the growth and development in order to provide therapeuticresponses within the elderly community (Tamparo &amp Lindh, 2008).Therapeutic communication with patients assists the patients to be intouch with themselves and other people in the community. The clientsare also encouraged to recognize functioning life throughputdifferent age groups. This makes therapeutic communication in theelderly community to be effective. Muñoz, Luckmann, and Luckmann(2005) indicate that the healthcare providers should also be genuinewhile treating different age groups in the community. The concept ofmaintaining community culture is applied to all vocations and dealingwith clients who are ill should be considered different from dealingwith a person who is making travel arrangements (Edmunds &ampMayhew, 2013).


Comfortis needed during the older ages. The health acre professionals haveto ensure that the reception room furniture for the elderly person iscomfortable enough. The caregivers should ensure that the elderlypersons are provided with enough treatment and with respect in orderto maintain their health (Lewis, 2003). Providing good treatment tothe elderly is important. The health care providers should no beoverprotective and over-solicitous. This serves as an importantaspect of reducing the intensity the elderly persons feel (Muñoz,Luckmann &amp Luckmann, 2005). Besides, verbal and nonverbalcommunication assists the elderly to retain self confidence andself-esteem.


Sharingobservations is where healthcare shares with the patient observationsconcerning the behavior. The elderly patient who needs any assistanceis commonly unaware of the source of the distress or reluctant tocommunicate it verbally (Tamparo &amp Lindh, 2008). The tension andanxiety developed as a result of distress may create energy, whichcan be changed into some kind of behaviors. By sharing suchobservations with the elderly patient, the nurse and any healthprofessional is inviting the patient to authenticate, elaborate orcorrect on his or her behaviors (Lewis, 2003). By doing so, thehealthcare provider is trying to evaluate more on patient’sbehavior. In all the efforts that the nurse puts in order toascertain the observed behavior, the health professional shares withthe patient what she or he perceived through patient’s senses. Whenthe nurse is sharing the observations made with the patient, thehealthcare provider phrases her remarks hesitantly, in such a waythat it is nurse’s observations, rather than the behavior ofpatient (Muñoz, Luckmann &amp Luckmann, 2005).

Understandingthe Feelings of an Elderly Patient

Thehealthcare provider assists the patient to understand that hisfeelings are accepted and encourages the patient to continueexpressing his feelings (Adams &amp Jones, 2010). When a patient isprovided with an opportunity to talk about anything that is causingupsets to him or the patient is expressing criticism or complaint,the health professional convey acceptance by acknowledging thefeelings of the client without accepting or disagreeing on patient’sfeelings (Haller &amp Kramer, 2006). By compassionately determiningit is embarrassing or frustrating to feel as the patient feels, thenurse does not pass any judgment on the feeling or thoughts. If thecommunication is to be effective, it is beneficial that thehealthcare provider accepts patient’s feelings and thoughts byfocusing on how patient expresses his feelings regardless of how boththe patient and nurse feels (Muñoz, Luckmann &amp Luckmann, 2005).


Muñoz,Luckmann and Luckmann (2005) explain that in some circumstances,attentive silence is preferable to verbal responses. Using attentivesilence facilitates the healthcare professional to temporarily reducethe pace of conversation and presents the patient with theopportunity to reflect on and speak further on the feelings. Use ofsilence permits the healthcare provider to observe the patient fornon-verbal clues and to gather patient’s thoughts. Because of thenature of social interaction or communication, whereby lulls andpauses are typically avoided, health providers can intuitively becomeuneasy when the patient is silent for a longer time (Lewis, 2003).Period of silence is most crucial to therapeutic communicationprocess therefore, enabling the provider to assemble his feelingsand thoughts in order to reflect on patient’s conditions.Sustaining attentive silence enables the patient to understand hissilence. Since silence demonstrates many feelings, such as anger,sadness, distress, and contemplation, the nurse can try to assess themeaning of patient’s silence in the context of attention withspecial attention to accompany non-verbal communication (Tamparo &ampLindh, 2008). It is, therefore, essential to practice silence as thehealthcare provider tends to overstress the time a patient silencelast because of nurse’s anxiety. After several hour of silence, thehealth professional can assist the patient to continue with verbalactivity.


Themajor cause of discomfort or anxiety among the hospitalized patientsis as a result of misconceptions and lack of information aboutpatient’s condition, their treatment, as well as hospital routines.Muñoz, Luckmann and Luckmann (2005) argue that when a patient needsinformation to relieve discomfort or anxiety, develop meaningfulconclusions and make relevant decisions, the need can be revealedduring the interactions made while communicating with the nurse. Bypresenting such information, and admitting or finding the informationconcerning health status, the nurse and other health professional canassist in establishing helpful environment in order to form trust inthe relationship with the patient.


Whena nurse have no clear understanding concerning what the patient istrying to clarify, she can use relevant phrases and may request thepatient to make his meaning a bit clear (Muñoz, Luckmann &ampLuckmann, 2005). While seeking such clarification when she has doubtsconcerning what the patient is aiming at, the health provider canavoid misunderstanding from hampering the communication with thepatient. Since her efforts in clarifying demonstrate continuedinterest in what the patient is saying, use of clarificationtechnique as a means of therapeutic communication among the elderlyassists in motivating the elderly patient to continue explain hishealth conditions. Since realistic communication is dependent uponthe extent at which an individual understands clearly what thepatient is saying, the nurse may not hesitate to interrupt thepatient if there is confusion in patient’s mind concerning hishealth (Tamparo &amp Lindh, 2008).


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