Health and Fitness

KHN Column: Obama's Respite Care Plan - Part Of The Problem, Not A Solution

In his latest Kaiser Health News column, Howard Gleckman writes: "President Barack Obama wants to increase funding for a government program intended to make it easier for family caregivers to get respite care. These hard-pressed families desperately need the helping hand. But the White House initiative is a symptom of all that is wrong with long-term-care policy in the U.S." (Kaiser Health News). Read entire column. This information was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery at kaiserhealthnews.org. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

Positive Lessons From HIV Home-Based Care

Intensive home-based nursing in HIV/AIDS patients significantly improves self-reported knowledge of HIV, awareness of medications, and self-reported adherence to medication programmes, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. One home-based care trial included in the review also significantly impacted on HIV stigma, worry, and physical functioning. It did not, however, help improve depressive symptoms, mood, general health, and overall functioning. These conclusions are interesting, but more research is needed to understand the impact of home-based care in developing countries and on important disease outcomes, say the researchers. The study represents the first systematic review of the impact of home care in HIV/AIDS. As a disease that affects 33 million people, HIV/AIDS puts a huge strain on health systems, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, in countries where health services are overstretched, home-based care is offered to HIV patients as an alternative to hospital care.

Majority Who Care For A Relative Suffer From Anxiety And Stress, According To Study

Eight out of 1ten people in charge of caring for a relative suffer from anxiety and stress, regardless of their socio-demographic variables. Families, and particularly daughters, assume the "informal care" of dependent elderly people in most of the cases. This follows an investigation carried out by Ruth M Calero P rez and directed by professor Jos M Roa Venegas at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Granada. The work in the UGR shows that in some cases this care in the family creates inappropriate behaviour in the relationship, and that the negative effects on the physical, psychological and social caregiver are highly related to the previous life history between caregiver and care recipient, social isolation felt by the caregiver, and the feeling of loneliness in the relationship with the care recipient. To carry out this work, the researchers applied a questionnaire to a population of 203 subjects whose only requirement was to be the informal caregiver of a dependent elderly person.

NAMI Applauds New Report On Caregiving

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) praises a new report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009, which offers a revealing portrait of the nearly one-in-three American adults who serve as a family caregiver. The study is based on interviews with 1, 480 caregivers chosen at random and offers a national profile of people caring for adults, the elderly and children with special needs. It follows similar studies conducted in 2004 and 1997, but for the first time, caregivers for children, as well as those caring for adults over the age of 18, were surveyed. The report echoes the findings of NAMI's own depression survey and schizophrenia survey, which include the perspective of caregivers for people living with these serious mental illnesses. All these reports suggest that caregivers face daily stresses that can impact their own health and other relationships. For example, NAMI's depression survey, released in November, found that while almost one-half (48 percent) of caregivers for people with depression have been diagnosed with depression themselves, only about 25 percent were engaged in treatment at the time of the survey.

Jobs Numbers In Health Sector Defy Recession, More Growth Expected

As most sectors of the economy shed jobs last month, health care companies continued to defy the pattern and hire more people in a trend that's spanned more than two years, Kaiser Health News reports. The main reason is that people are reluctant to skip health care services, even when times are tight, economists say. That factor, combined with an aging population allowed health care business to grow, albeit more slowly than normal, even as the broader economy flagged (Weaver, 1/8). "Across the country, nearly half of the 30 fastest-growing occupations through 2018 are in health care, according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, " The Boston Globe reports. Many of the jobs don't require the extensive training needed for physicians and nurses. "At the top of the list of the nation's fastest-growing health care occupations is home health aide, which is projected to have a 50 percent growth in employment from 2008 to 2018." That job only requires a 15-week community college course to qualify (Chase, 1/10).

Patient-Physician-Caregiver Relationship: New Ethical Guidance From ACP

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a position paper to guide ethical relationships among patients, physicians, and caregivers. The Journal of General Internal Medicine has published "Family Caregivers, Patients and Physicians: Ethical Guidance to Optimize Relationships." The text and an online appendix of resources to help physicians manage relationships with patients and caregivers are available at http://www.acponline.org/running_practice/ethics/issues/policy. "The ethical guidance outlined in this paper is intended to heighten physician awareness of the importance and complexity of the patient-physician-caregiver relationship, " said ACP President Joseph Stubbs, MD, FACP. "It is essential for physicians to consider quality of life for both patients and caregivers." The paper -- endorsed by 10 other professional medical societies -- defines caregivers as relatives, partners, friends, and neighbors of patients who assist with activities of daily living and complex health care needs.

New Position Paper Offers Ethical Guidance To Physicians For Developing Mutually Supportive Patient-Physician-Caregiver Relationships

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a position paper to guide ethical relationships among patients, physicians, and caregivers. The Journal of General Internal Medicine has published "Family Caregivers, Patients and Physicians: Ethical Guidance to Optimize Relationships." The text and an online appendix of resources to help physicians manage relationships with patients and caregivers are available on ACP's Web site. "The ethical guidance outlined in this paper is intended to heighten physician awareness of the importance and complexity of the patient-physician-caregiver relationship, " said ACP President Joseph Stubbs, MD, FACP. "It is essential for physicians to consider quality of life for both patients and caregivers." The paper -- endorsed by 10 other professional medical societies -- defines caregivers as relatives, partners, friends, and neighbors of patients who assist with activities of daily living and complex health care needs. It outlines four primary principles for physicians, who may face ethical challenges collaborating with patients and caregivers while preserving the primacy of the patient-physician relationship: - Respect for the patient's dignity, rights, and values should guide all patient-physician- caregiver interactions.

8 Out Of 10 People Who Care For A Relative Suffer From Anxiety And Stress, According To A Study

Conducted at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology from the University of Granada, the research reveals that the negative effects on the caregiver's physical, psychological and social development are highly associated with previous life history between caregiver and care receiver. To carry out this work, researchers applied a questionnaire to a population of 203 subjects whose only requirement was to be the informal caregiver of a dependent elderly person. 8 out of 10 people in charge of caring for a relative suffer from anxiety and stress, regardless of their socio-demographic variables. Families, and particularly daughters, assume the "informal care" of dependent elderly people in most of the cases. This follows an investigation carried out by Ruth M Calero P rez and directed by professor Jos M Roa Venegas at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Granada. The work in the UGR shows that in some cases this care in the family creates inappropriate behaviour in the relationship, and that the negative effects on the physical, psychological and social caregiver are highly related to the previous life history between caregiver and care recipient, social isolation felt by the caregiver, and the feeling of loneliness in the relationship with the care recipient.

The National Alliance On Mental Illness Applauds New Report On Caregiving

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) praises a new report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009, which offers a revealing portrait of the nearly one-in-three American adults who serve as a family caregiver. The study is based on interviews with 1, 480 caregivers chosen at random and offers a national profile of people caring for adults, the elderly and children with special needs. It follows similar studies conducted in 2004 and 1997, but for the first time, caregivers for children, as well as those caring for adults over the age of 18, were surveyed. The report echoes the findings of NAMI's own depression survey and schizophrenia survey, which include the perspective of caregivers for people living with these serious mental illnesses. All these reports suggest that caregivers face daily stresses that can impact their own health and other relationships. For example, NAMI's depression survey, released in November, found that while almost one-half (48 percent) of caregivers for people with depression have been diagnosed with depression themselves, only about 25 percent were engaged in treatment at the time of the survey.

Orphanage Care In Developing Countries Is A 'Viable Option,' Study Finds

A study, published on Thursday in PLoS One, finds that the "care at orphanages [in developing countries] is often at least as good as that given by families who take in orphaned or abandoned children, " challenging "the widespread belief that orphans in poor countries fare best in family-style homes in the community and should be put into orphanages only as a last resort, " the New York Times reports (Grady, 12/17). The study "is touted as one of the most comprehensive ever done on orphans. Orphaned and abandoned children ages 6-12 were evaluated over a three-year period in 83 institutions and 311 families in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Tanzania, " according to USA Today (Koch, 12/17). The New York Times reports that "[t]he children living in orphanages generally fared as well as those in the community, or even better, the researchers found." According to the newspaper, "[t]he question of how best to care for orphans is urgent and becoming more so, because the numbers are huge and growing.

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