The Fate & Welfare of Nursing Home Residents: Towards A Holistic Psychosocial Care Problem ment The rise in aging population has increased the demand for nursing home residential facilities. These institutions have become places of continuing care and treatment that is largely centered on biomedical model in which efficiency, consistency and standardized decision-making are of great value (Brownie & Nancarrow, 2013). However, there are studies showing that residents of nursing homes need alternative forms of care that would address other more important issues that old people are faced to.
Ironically, while deteriorating health is a reason why old people have to be looked after in nursing home facilities, several studies have shown that social isolation and loneliness resulting from being placed into these institutions influence morbidity and mortality among the aged (Warburton & Lui, 2007). As cited by Roos & Malan (2012), loneliness can hasten the deterioration of a person’s health due to its effect on the immune system which consequently influences mental and physical health. This is further illustrated in the study of Fossey, Ballard, Juszczak, James, Alder, Jacoby & Howard (2006), wherein they found out that organic problems such dementia can be cured by psychosocial care as an alternative to antipsychotics. In a study by Krauss & Attman (2004), it was found that around two-thirds of the nursing home residents suffer from significant depressive symptoms.
Given this, attending to the residents’ welfare and quality of life should extend beyond just medical care but towards psychosocial care which focuses on social, mental and emotional needs of residents (as cited in Galambos, Zlotnik, Bern-Klug & Zimmerman, 2009). For this reason, emerging approaches to nursing home care have leaned towards a more holistic approach to care by addressing the psychosocial aspect of nursing care. According to a report published by Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) in 2005, the psychosocial approach to care deals with a constellation of social and emotional needs and the care given to meet these needs.
Mental and behavioral problems common among the aged such as dementia, depression, and anxiety stem from inevitable social consequences of old age which mainly center on multiple losses both of abilities and personal relationships (Roos & Malan, 2012).
Being placed in the institution itself deprives old people from personal contact with significant social networks (Roos & Malan, 2012).
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