Dear Legislator Susan Wagle,
Dementia patients suffer in long-term healthcare facilities as their direct caregivers are unable to meet their social, psychological, and emotional needs. Therefore, looking into ways to improve their healthcare through resource allocation and legislation would improve the conditions that these patients face.
Dementia patients suffer from a lack of emotional, psychological, and social support, which hampers their health. Research finds that the patients receive rushed, impersonal, and indifferent treatment from the staff at one point in their stay in a long-term care facility (Chiao, Wu, & Hsiao, 2017). Consequently, the patients begin feeling hopeless and helpless and may have depression and anxiety. Patients may struggle to form a rapport and close relationship with the caregivers, which directly affects their health conditions. Conversely, the caregivers feel incapable of availing these critical services, citing staff shortages, meaning they have more patients in their care. Some also lack the competence to deal with the varying needs of the patients. On a personal level, I have witnessed the effects of poor care for such patients. My demented grandmother became withdrawn and anxious when she stayed in a nursing home. She did not seem excited to be there and feared the caregivers. From her behavior, it was evident that she was not adequately taken care of, and we had to take her home. Inadequate care for dementia patients is problematic to the community in general. The members will not feel safe to leave their loved ones in the facilities for fear of neglect and abuse. Moreover, it will affect the healthcare system by causing under-utilization of health resources, as the healthcare facilities may not have many users. Living with the patients at home will put an economic, social, and psychological strain on families as they spend their time and money taking care of the patient.
I would like you to address the issue of poor care for dementia patients in long-term facilities by availing resources and through legislation. Addressing the issue will guarantee quality healthcare of dementia patients, which is a mandate of the government. Additionally, it will boost the community’s faith in the healthcare system as it protects the vulnerable members of the community. Dementia patients are an integral part of the community and have a right to professional and quality healthcare just like everyone else. Kindly address this issue for the betterment of society. I look forward to hearing from you.
Chiao, C. Y., Wu, H. S., & Hsiao, C. Y. (2017). Caregiver burden for caregivers of patients with dementia: a systematic review. International nursing review, 62(3), 340-350.