Depression in Long Term Care Heart Patients Often Goes UntreatedWritten by Dr Mike Shery
Depression in Long Term Care Heart Patients Often Goes Untreated
By Dr. Mike Shery
Cardiologists, other doctors and long term care staff might be missing big picture as one survey suggests that only a third of heart disease patients with serious symptoms of depression or anxiety get any treatment. The findings are significant because psychological problems have been linked to poorer health and higher death rates in heart disease patients. Unfortunately, long term care residents and other heart patients just aren't being screened because physicians are just focused on heart disease and don’t think about other factors that could contribute to condition.
We know that heart attack survivors suffer from psychological distress twice as much as general population and, with congestive heart failure patients, who are often residing in nursing homes, figure is twice that…Staggering! However, only about one third of heart disease patients who report symptoms are ever treated by a mental-health provider. This is appalling because research suggests that psychological problems often contribute to onset of heart disease and worsen its progression.
It's not entirely clear how psychological distress and heart disease are connected. However, there is some speculation that psychological symptoms may contribute to blood clots or make heart beat less efficiently. Since overwhelming amount of long term care residents are women, it’s important for staff to note that women with mild and moderate depression are 50 percent more likely to have heart attacks than are other women. It’s also crucial to note that depression and anxiety are frequent responses to traumatic events, such as life-threatening and chronically debilitating illnesses, which are often seen in long term care settings. The seriousness of these symptoms is usually proportional to their duration and depth and degree to which they compromise resident’s life quality and/or participation in treatment process.
Assisted Living Facilities – What Are They?Written by Alex Jensen
Assisted Living facilities are generally for person’s 60 years of age and older. Typical candidates need assistance with “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs), but wish to live as independently as possible. Assisted Living communities exist to bridge gap between seniors that can live independently and skilled nursing homes.
Assisted living facilities provide helpful services such as:
1. Eating, 2. Bathing, 3. Dressing, 4. Grooming 5. Laundry 6. Housekeeping 7. Assistance with medications.
While Board and Care facilities are usually in a private residential home, Assisted Living facilities are larger structures often arranged as senior living communities. These communities can contain as many as 400 residents or as few as 25 seniors. Residents of assisted living communities usually meet in a dining room together with other residents for meals.
A person designated as ‘Activities Director’ oversees a key area in assisted living community - Social activities. The Activities Director typically arranges daily options for residents including outings, crafts, dances, music, educational classes, seminars, and other opportunities. All activities are designed to encourage physical and mental stimulation.
Assisted Living facilities create a care plan for each individual resident upon admission. The care plan details agreed upon personalized services required by resident and guaranteed to be provided by facility. The plan is updated regularly to assure that resident receives appropriate care as his or her condition changes.