This is a research paper on a case study. The research paper will evaluate the eating habits of an old arthritic woman who has been diagnosed with cognitive impairment. She is being taken care of by her husband who is equally old. Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation and usually coupled with joint pain (Medicine, 2010). Cognitive impairment is a brain disorder where nerve cells involved in impaired hence affecting the ability of a person to: think, remember, reason, concentrate and solve problems (Mayo clinic, 2010). The research paper will also seek information from the husband about his wife. It will outline the probable treating strategies for the arthritic woman and gauge the ability of the husband to cater for the wife. It will also analyze the benefits of retirement community's or assisted living facilities that have community dining areas. To this end I will give examples of programs available in my area for improving the eating of the seniors. It will also compare the eating levels of the seniors who eat alone and those who eat in a more communal environment.
In this case study, I would like to know from the husband: if he is aware of the different ways of treating arthritis, his ability to offer help in treating the disease, the physical steps he has already taken towards that, the nutritional content of the food he cooks for her, the medical steps he has taken towards his wife's cognitive impairment, the effectiveness of the fixed income from the social security in relation to their health and food security, and the effect of the care he is providing on his health.
Both Arthritis and cognitive impairment are controllable. In the case of this elderly woman, different strategies can be used to the treat the disease. Apart from the medical treatment being administered on the woman, arthritis can be treated by other non -medical approaches like; physical therapy, paraffin wax dips and cold-pack application which can easily be offered by the husband to her. However, the medical treatment in use should continue as well. For the case of Cognitive impairment, medical and non-medical approaches should be sought to improve daily functioning and quality of life for the woman. Medical information and care should be sought in relation to the symptoms and effects of cognitive impairment to prevent the diseases from advancing to Alzheimer's disease which is fatal and there is no known treatment for cognitive impairment. The woman should be fed with a diet high in vegetables and unsaturated fats. Social isolation should be minimized by taking her to a senior community center where she can get interactive exercises and physical activities which reduce the impact of cognitive impairment. However her failure to eat will hinder all the efforts made towards controlling these diseases due to lack of energy. Hence, emphasis should be put on her eating.
But to my concern is the health of the husband and his ability to cater for his wife. Caring for the elderly is multi-faceted and often emotionally difficult for the caregiver. The person offering the care must be able to "get over" emotional hurdles and moves on with providing quality care (Life challenges, 2010). However, in this case the care giver also qualifies to be taken care of. He is even older and at his age he is not able to "get over" emotional hurdles as he is also on the same journey. He cannot offer any assistance in physical activities or exercises due to lack of physical and mental strength. He has admitted to the fact that his cooking skills are poor. This is quite challenging because he and his wife should be eating quality diets at their age to improve their daily functioning and add quality in their weary lives. I would hereby suggest that both be enrolled in a senior community center since there is no other person available to provide the necessary care at home. It is worth noting that these senior/retirement community living facilities with dining areas are very beneficial to the elderly:
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They minimize social isolation in their homes as they get a chance to socialize with their age mates and counselors who comfort, reason and offer assistance in solving the unresolved issues in their productive years, they provide interactive exercises and physical activities that are beneficial for brain health, quality diets are provided and medical attention is easily accorded. All these are done fashionably without causing excessive frustration and to the enjoyment of the patient. In addition, the fixed income from social security ensures that the elderly are not financially stressed as their financial needs are partly met. The availability of dining areas in these facilities creates an environment that motivates the elderly to eat. In my area there are community programs for the seniors that improve their eating. There are cooking competitions that involve the elderly. Since the elderly women will try to prove the point that their long experience in the kitchen has enabled them to gain the best cooking skills, they will strive to out do each other. This results to delicious and high quality diets which they freely and enjoyably eat. Therefore, in my opinion, the seniors who eat in a more communal environment eat more than those who eat alone as there is motivation to eat in a communal environment especially due to the fact that his/her age mates are equally eating. However, this might not be the case in the long run as they tend to lose interest so fast hence affecting their appetite negatively and thus their eating levels change in the long run.
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