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Healthcare for the Elderly in New Zealand

Info: 3357 words (13 pages) Essay
Published: 20th Sep 2017 in Health

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Task 1

In life health is being well, free from disease and illness. A disease is caused due to bacteria, microbes, and viruses, genetic problem and some are unknown cause. There are many different health problems and injuries. Some common health issues are mild like colds, cough, headache, malaise. There critical health problems too such as cancer, human immunodeficiency virus and kidney or liver failure. There are health issues that can be prevented or mitigated, cure and treated. Usually age matters because as we grow old evolution and development and progress of certain disease may come because of overdeveloped or overused of our different parts and system of the body like our skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine, digestive, urinary, and reproductive. Some are gain due to hereditary factor or through genes due to low immunity system.

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Geriatric means an old person that needs special care and attention. These are elderly person chronological age of 60 plus years old according to United Nation but over age 65 years in most developed countries. Despite the age range, older adults or sometimes called to be senior people have peculiar healthcare necessity due to health issues and problems. We all know that as we grow older our body system tend to weaken or deteriorates. Thereby, it is vital to know these kinds of diseases to have treatment and be able to prolong life and health. Many of these conditions are preventable with lifestyle changes and treatable. However, there are also health issues that are irreversible, unpreventable and no cure.

According to some study and survey, the following are the top ten health problems that cause mortality among adults over age of 65. First, the Heart disease, Cancer – can be breast, lung and colon, Cerebrovascular disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Diabetes (Type II Diabetes), Accident ( High risk fall), Septicemia, Nephritis and Alzheimer disease.

Dementia denotes memory loss and brain damage caused by disease called Alzheimer disease or known to be “series of strokes”. There are different types of dementia such as Lewy body dementia, Fronto Temporal dementia, vascular disease and the most common is Alzheimer.

Alzheimer Disease pertains to a protein tangles and plaques develop in the structure of the brain that leads to death of brain cell and this blocks transmission of message to brain. People with these diseases may experience lapse of memory and problem finding correct term of words. The early stage symptoms are forgetfulness of things and names of people, mood swings, loss of confidence or social withdrawal, difficulty in doing daily routine like going to supermarket, cooking and driving. If the disease progresses, they conduce to loss their independence and will obtain some support to continue daily life living. There are test given for early diagnosis like blood test, full physical examination, memory and thinking assessment done by psychologist and Computerised Tomography (CI) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) performed by neurologist.

Based on researchers, no single factor was caused by Alzheimer disease. It is a combination of age, genetic inheritance, environmental factor over all general health and lifestyle are responsible. Now, awareness and maintenance of brain health that pertains to diet and physical fitness. There is no cure for this disease however there are drug medicine that can alleviate pain and prolong its progression. An Alzheimer patient must have a particular and practical level of care ensuring them to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. A family support particularly emotional support which is very significant that involves better understanding and respecting them. It also points out health of the one who care or carer, the financial capability, getting support from family and friends and from local services and organisation.

There are various types of health concerns involve for elderly people that needs to be assisted. In addition there are different kinds of organisations and or foundation in New Zealand that deals in boosting one’s life. The following are Alzheimer New Zealand, The Stroke Foundation, The Cancer Society of New Zealand, Diabetes New Zealand and Osteoporosis New Zealand. The Alzheimer’s New Zealand is a non- profit organisation. They have 21 local organisations located throughout the country which give information, educational programmes, support and services to the local community. Their aim is to provide information about the sign and symptoms of the disease to both family and the patient. They offer services by supporting and helping spouses, families and partners to cope with caring, educate them by understanding the assessment of diagnosis and medications. These medications lessen the sudden progress of the disease. They also boost in financial support, legal services and have a day and home care. Alzheimer patient will slowly lose their memories. The Stroke Foundation is also a not- for- profit organisation that provides support and awareness to the families and the one affected. It has stroke advisors different clubs throughout New Zealand and provides nationwide network divided in three regions like northern, midland and southern. Their vision is to save lives, to improve outcomes and to enhance life after stroke. We all know that stroke is serious issue often lead to loss of motion and sensation even awareness. Majority of their funds or budgets comes from donation and grants. Saving lives means spreading public awareness on the onset, and immediate action of stroke. Campaigns like blood pressure awareness and F.A.S.T means calling 111 at once and stroke prevention programme. Improving outcomes focuses on health service delivery in rehabilitation, hospital services and treatment outcomes. They published clinical guidelines- National stroke guidelines and clinical networks in reaching out and meeting the procedures of stroke information. Lastly, Enhancing life after stroke represents the passion of stroke survivors to enhance the quality of life of those affected one. They have trained Community Stroke Advisors that advise on accessing carer-relief services, funding and other stroke related issues. Spouse support group and Stroke clubs for the people who had stroke encouraging them to join social events. The Cancer Society of New Zealand is an independent charity and not funded by the government. They rely on personal support, fund raising and donations. These organisations ensure reduction or decreases of cancer incidence and best care. They provide support services for cancer patient and their family and caregivers; research for saving life; information about cancer and its effects through booklets, leaflets, tapes, CDs, pamphlets and books; health promotion encourages New Zealanders to live a healthier lifestyle. We all know that cancer is the abnormal growth of cell or known to be tumor. There are different kinds of cancer like bone, brain, breast, cervical, colon/rectal, endometrial, esophagus, eye, gastrointestinal, kidney, laryngeal, leukemia, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, skin and others. The Diabetes New Zealand was established in 1962, Diabetes. It is a non-government, non-profit organisation thatrepresents people with diabetes. Their vision and mission is to control, contained and cured that every person with diabetes in New Zealand has the provided support to live fully and actively. We all know that diabetes is having excessive amount of sugar. There are two types of diabetes- Type 1 diabetes mellitus, called as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes and Type 2 diabetes used to be known as non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes. To acquire it, they give information awareness about types, symptoms and effects of diabetes disease. They help prevent risk and development for type 2 diabetes and encourage diabetic people to live well through lifestyle change. They give gift cards and freebies or funded Optium meter for testing ketone examination if certain individual who have diabetes taking on an insulin pump you are eligible. Osteoporosis New Zealand was launched on October20 1999. It was formed to bring awareness andknowledge of osteoporosis and to raise a national‘voice’ for those with osteoporosis and at riskof developing this bone disease. Their dedications are to improve healthy bone for New Zealanders at all ages and stages of life, to provide advice and patient support and give materials or resources advocating quality access to diagnosis and of medication. They have health professional for fracture assessment.

Aside from the organisational support for geriatric there are several service provisions as well namely: hospitals, hospices, residential care, nursing homes, day care, domiciliary care, General Practitioner, pharmacists, social services, psychiatric services, memory services, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, other health and social-care workers, counsellors, dementia advisers, and the like. The following stated provision has peculiar roles in maintaining and assisting the needs of the elderly people lives.

Usually certain disease or illness begins on what people eat. This is what a dietician perform help prevent and treat health problems by promoting healthy eating habits. They plan and prepare nutritious food to improve one’s diet and be able to attain the proper nourishment that their body recommended in accordance to their age, gender and health issues. An example a diabetic must control the amount of sugar intake and for hypertensive patients must have low salt and low fat diet.

There are different types of dietician based on workplace. In hospital and nursing homes they have clinical dietician that look for the residents or patient’s nutritional requirement consulting the doctor and other health care practitioner to make sure of medical care and nutritional meal plan correlates. With regards to community dietician they counsel people in the clinic and agencies that evaluate dietary needs by talking about one’s lifestyle and giving them some tips and advice on food preparation. For consultant dietician they have their private work for a health care facility on which they provide a nutritional screening for their patient to know their eating habits then counsel them about the amount of food they will partake. An example if the result will be overweight or obese with high blood pressure then consultant dietician can provide the food that needs to reduce cholesterol level and more on high fiber and low salt diet. While management dietician are expert in preparing the needs for a large group of individual in a corporation, schools and prison.

Mostly older people are tend to be in having multiple medications to handle various problems in health like hypertension or high in blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, dementia-Alzheimer’s disease, severe pain-back pain and migraine, and other typical diseases like colds and infection and health issues associated with age.

Geriatric pharmacists, known to be consultant pharmacists, specialize in dispensing drugs and counselling older patients about their medications. They distribute medicines as prescribed or authorized by a doctor or other health professional specialist.

Some pharmacists for older people do not allocate drugs at all, but exert effort vividly in consultation position as branch of the health care group taking care of older adults. Their main role is to guarantee the excellent governance of medications for a better patient health in numerous care sites and facility. They also explain to their patient when and how to take the drug, the possible side effect and adverse reaction of the drug, ensure that they don’t interact with another medication, make recommendation in adjustments in dosage regimen and perform monitoring of blood sugar and blood pressure. Beside dispensing and consulting the patient, conferring with the physician and review of patients charts as well.

Elderly patients usually bear from health problems like swollen joints (arthritis), inflamed shoulder or elbow (bursitis), and weak bones (osteoporosis). These are frequent huge vale of a lifetime of wear and tear, but can be a bit painful and limiting in concord of individual’s choice and locomotion. Patients who had dementia, Parkinson’s disease and suffers stokes are prone to high risk falls as a consequence which is a vital cover, specifically in old people living by themselves. Therefore, physiotherapist is important in assessing the home of patient and to remove unwanted stress from joints that are very prone to injure. A rehabilitation plan will vary depending on its situation considering the patient and their set of mind or intellectual, their home environment and family/ relative matters, as well as previous family background. Physiotherapist will observe the movement, posture, and gait, as well as daily living, common habits, and their family and social life activity ahead doing suggestion as to how one’s home or environment may be resolve to make livelihood as good and easy as exist. Their goal is to do acclimation that you are relax and blissful with to permit you as much freedom and harm free as possible. A frequent undervalue facet of what a physiotherapist for elder does is an essential of community care. A physiotherapist function is usually in correlation with intellectual health professionals to impel the patient and keep them going in life.

A General practitioner also called GP or generalist, one who specialize a certain area of medicine. GPs provide health care routine (examples- vaccination/immunizations and physical examinations or assessment,) and evaluate and handle different diversity of conditions, including illnesses and injuries.They often have usual, long-term patients and deliver ongoing medical attention to both genders- male and female patients and for all types of age groups.

An individual who are searching medical care communicate to a general practitioner at once however if a serious matters develops, the generalist will regard them to a certain specialist. A specialist is a physician who has expertise or specializes in a specific field of medicine and has additional training and certificate. Such specialists are urologist, oncologist, nephrologists, cardiologist and neurologist).

A general practitioner usual workplace is in a private clinics or entity and can be part of a health maintenance organisation. They are assisted by staff of nurses.

Domiciliary CareorDom Care or known as home care is based on home living environment and arrangement for adults or older one who are not capable to live by alone. They need assistance withactivities of daily living because of age-related impairments of physical, mental or visual disabilities. Such activities are bathing and grooming; taking medication, preparing meals and feeding, housekeeping and laundry are delivered through the co-ordinated services of Care Workers, Nurses, and other health care practitioner.

Hospice is a philosophy of care. A patient living in this facility has a life limit condition, under treatment or critically ill- example heart failure, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Their aim is to help people to live the most out of it. They have whole person approach in all aspect of life- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social needs are significant. Moreover, they provide additional advice and support to their family and carers.

In a nutshell, there are varieties of health conditions that occur in elderly people. Support comes from the family and carers. There are different kinds of support organisation and service provision whose vision is to give information about patient’s condition, reduce progression, give empathy and sympathy and provide help to maintain their daily routine. Not only have they given care to the patient but also give advice and counsel to patient’s family, friends and their carer.

Task 2

All residential care governed by guidelines that provide well information, compliance and support to boost one’s client life and their love ones. Here are three impacts in analyzing management identified in stigma impacts for elders with common health problems: Social isolation of the individual and their family, assumption of automatic loss of independence and unable to make decisions about own care.

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Social isolation is the deficient of interest in social, communication dealings or in touch with other people. Those who isolate themselves have lack affinity to their love ones. It can distinct through physical disunion, social hindrance and mental thinking.


  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Personality/Character


  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Handicapped
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Phobias
  • Post traumatic disorder


  • Shame
  • Embarrassment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Possible suicide
  • Addiction
  • Grief
  • Loneliness
  • Decrease low self- esteem
  • Nutrition problem ( common to elders)


  • Join social clubs: sports/ hobby
  • Therapies: Aromatherapy, Massage
  • Community group activities
  • Educational class for fears/ hopes
  • Church
  • Meditation

Loss of Independence in the elderly can be mentally damage why because often people have their own choice, decision in their life and they can perform their own task, job or activity on how they want. Now, someone will assist or help them to do something for them. Their daily routine will be handled by others. They loss the important aspect of like: freedom.


  • Feeling useless
  • Depression
  • Safety: home
  • Community resources:

Grocery shopping

Paying bills

Transportation: inability to drive


  • Family assistance and comfort: monetary
  • Helper/Carer in a facility/home
  • In safety home: alarm, monitoring system

Unable to make medical decision

Consent is called if an elderly patient agrees or makes own decision to have medication. However, if the patient can no longer decide due to mental disorder or unaware then someone else, a substituted consent will decide for them.

Factors to consider that a patient can decide to treatment:

  • Origin and intention of the sickness
  • Origin and intention of the treatment
  • Benefits and disadvantage of the treatment
  • Effects of not having the treatment

Substituted Consent:

  • Married, civil-union spouse, common-law partner
  • If no spouse/partner: close relative, close friend

Substituted consent people can ac only for the best of the patient and must grant the wish especially if the patient has a living will or instruction to the relatives. On the other hand, incapable patient can refuse medical care and it is court’s decision.

In a nutshell, these impact are the barriers that affects an elder to live on their own, they loss independence, decision and capabilities. Therefore, sympathy and empathy will provide by the family, friends and carer that is best for them with respect.


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