PSY 352 Topic 5 Discussion Question 1:
Chronic illness does not only have an impact on patients but also on caregivers and families.
Patients, caregivers and families can be affected by chronic illness in many ways. They might struggle to communicate with their doctor. Family members could ignore their own needs to care for their loved one. Patients who have lost a limb or function may not be able to do the things they once did. Caregivers who care for a relative at home are likely to miss work and subsequent income. The patient, caregiver and family all need support in order to adapt and cope with the challenges of chronic illness.
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Both the individuals affected by chronic illness and their caregivers and families are under stress to a greater or lesser degree. How they cope with that stress is the key element to a successful outcome. The major issue is usually how to pay for the ever-rising costs of prescription drugs, hospitalization, and even surgical procedures.
People living with chronic illness face a variety of physical and emotional challenges. Chronic illness also impacts caregivers, who experience depression at a higher rate than the general population. Likewise, family members may also be impacted.
Much research has been published about chronic illness, but there is less discussion on how to help patients and their families through the difficult times when dealing with health issues. We want to focus our thesis on how to improve the lives of people suffering from chronic illness by providing support during the most challenging times.
Patients, caregivers and families affected by chronic diseases need support in a number of ways. For example, family caregivers account for the majority of care hours provided to adults with disabilities in the United States. This often creates a financial burden for the caregiver and the health care system.
There are roughly 100 million Americans that live with chronic illness, and for these patients, the cost is more than just what you see on a bill. Chronically ill patients lose between 30-60 percent of their income due to needing to work less. Those who have a chronic condition experience high rates of mental illness, including excessive sadness or anxiety, compared with others
Generally, conceptualizations of health and illness have shifted from a biomedical to a social model. The social model emphasizes the impact of chronic illness on patients and their families. Families, rather than individuals, are recognized as the unit of care in chronic illness. This paper reviews findings from research on the impact of all types of chronic illness in childhood, using the social model for chronic illness management as a framework for analysis. The paper provides an overview of the literature on the following topics: functional limitations, psychological distress and mental health issues, hospitalization, parental health and well-being, family effects, family resources and coping strategies, siblings effects, genetic risk information and insurers’ denial of services. Research questions are also identified.
Patients and their families suffer from debilitating disease. But studies have shown that even though many caregivers are putting in long hours, they are not getting the support they need and deserve.
Children, teens and young adults with chronic illness experience a multitude of needs. Among them are the psychological effects of being ill, feelings that no one understands what you’re going through, and the stress of being apart from family and friends. Hospitals, doctor’s offices and schools aren’t designed to meet the social needs of kids who are chronically ill. Kids Like Me helps youth address these concerns in a fun and nurturing environment created just for them!