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Family-based Care or Nursing Home Care in the Face of Dementia - Essay Example

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The reporter states that it is no simple matter to determine how best to take care of an individual who is suffering from dementia. The two main alternatives consist of whether the individual is cared for through family-based care or through a nursing home…
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Family-based Care or Nursing Home Care in the Face of Dementia
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Family-based Care or Nursing Home Care in the Face of Dementia

Download file to see previous pages... Dementia is a collective term used to refer to a range of diseases that involve the deterioration of cognitive function over time. For those suffering dementia, their quality of life can substantially decrease, and they quickly become dependent on others to help them with even their most basic needs. The prevalence of dementia increases dramatically with age, as a consequence the number of people suffering from dementia at a given time is likely to rise as our population in general ages. As a consequence of this, the government is increasingly interested in determining what method of care is of lower cost.
In general, it is often assumed that it is cheaper to care for an individual through family-based care as opposed to caring through nursing facilities. However, this does not take into account costs that are incurred by family members in terms of finances or time. This is an important factor, as dementia patients frequently require full-time care, thus when dementia patients are being cared for through family-based care it is likely that at least one member of the family has reduced hours at work compared to under normal circumstances. When labor and costs are taken into account, studies have shown that for patients with severe levels of dependence it was more economically viable for them to be cared for through nursing home care than through family-based care. Thus, despite the financial costs of nursing home care, it is still equal in cost, or cheaper than family-based care.
The financial cost is not the only consideration in regards to deciding the best type of care for those suffering dementia. Dementia is progressive and destroys mental function. When it is a family member or loved one that this is occurring to, the process can be very painful to watch and can cause feelings of helplessness and mental trauma. There are many reports of caregivers of dementia patients suffering from severe depression as a consequence of watching the progression of the disease (Eisdorfer et al. 2003). As a consequence caring for an individual with dementia exerts significant mental pressure on those responsible. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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