Patient and Family Education
Patient and family education is an important part of MR Homecare. Not only does it benefit the patient and his family, it is also beneficial to the home health care staff.
First, patient and family education is useful to the patient. In most cases, being well informed reduces a patient's anxieties, provides him with a better sense of self-confidence, and assists him in being an active participant in his own health care. One should never underestimate how useful patient and family education is to a sick and/or elderly persons. Patients who are not told anything about their medical conditions or prognosis, or are expected to be passive about their own health care, can become fearful, apprehensive, and uncooperative. In contrast, the patient who is kept up to date on his condition, provided with valid reasons for his treatments, and allowed to make his own decisions when it is appropriate for him to do so, retains his sense of dignity, pride, and cooperativeness.
Second, patient and family education is helpful for families. One benefit of good patient and family education is the family knows what to expect regarding their loved one's condition. In instances of patients with terminal conditions, this kind of education can help them to avoid denial, and prepare them for the loved one's eventual passing. This can help the family members gain peace of mind, and enjoy more quality time with their loved one. In other instances, elderly persons may be in need of home health care even if they do not have a terminal condition. Patient and family education is beneficial in these cases, also. The family may need to understand basic factors of the natural aging process, and learn how to cope effectively with their elderly loved one. From physical limitations such as reduced mobility in older age, to the personality changes which often accompany an aging person's reactions to no longer being as self-reliant as he used to be, can be difficult for families to deal with if they do not know the facts. Patient and family education can help each family member understand how natural aging affects their senior citizen, so they can apply patience and understanding in caring for and relating to him.
Third, patient and family education helps the caregivers. Whether the family has hired a home health aide, a nurse, or any other staff from a home health care agency, the more patients and families knows, the easier it is for staff to do their jobs. Patients and their families who expect caregivers to shoulder all of the responsibilities with little effort or knowledge on their own parts often place unreasonable demands on caregivers. If they know nothing about daily routines, how to deal with emergencies and other topics relevant to elder care, they may become fearful and stressed. Patient and family education helps both the elderly and their families become partners in their health care services. They can know the facts, know their questions will be answered, and be more comfortable in their home life. Patient and family education is essential for a productive, positive relationship between caregivers and families who need their services.