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Family Members in the Role of Health Care

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Nursing
Wordcount: 1586 words Published: 23rd Nov 2017

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Home care is another name of social care, and this service is always offered at home. Home care can either be provided by a professional care giver, a health care official, or the members of the patients family (Phaladze, 2001). A qualified medical practitioner can also offer home care services. This type of service offered by a qualified medical practitioner is referred to as home health care, or formal care. On the other hand, members of a family can also provide home care services, and this is referred to as non-medical care, or even custodial care.

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It is important to denote that the largest percentage of home care consists of professionals who are paid to assist the patient in his or her recovery process (Cook and Grove, 2012). These people are given numerous names, such as care givers or even care assistants. They normally help patients to carry out their day to day activities, such as bathing, cleaning of homes, preparation of meals, and even feeding them (Ackley and Ladwig, 2010). However, their services are always very expensive, and they are reserved for the rich.

To solve this problem, there is the emergence of care givers, who on most occasions are family members and friends who decide to take up the responsibility of taking care of the patient under consideration (Cook and Grove, 2012). These family members usually offer their services for free, and this is because they are motivated by the desire to see their patients recovering quickly from the disease that they suffer from. Family members and friends of the patient might also take up this role because of the understanding that the patient does not have money to hire a professional home care assistant (Ceci and Pukis, 2012). On this basis, it is important to denote that home care is always funded by the patient or his/her members of the family (Ackley and Ladwig, 2010).

Government health care institutions and insurance agencies are always reluctant to provide funds for purposes of funding the activities of family members and friends in their bid to provide personal assistance to the patient under consideration (Ackley and Ladwig, 2010). The main reason why government agencies do not provide fund for purposes of promoting the growth of family home carers is because these people are not professionals in matter to do with human health, and taking care of the sick (Stacey, 2011). Providing funds for purposes of encouraging the growth of family home carers will therefore mean that the government is undermining the role and capability of trained health care officials in offering assistance to patients who are in the process of recovering (Harris, 2010).

Insurance agencies on the other hand are reluctant to fund health care activities that are not conducted by professionals. This is because they believe that chances of failure are high, and on this basis, an insurance agency might go into a loss (Phaladze, 2001). However, Ackley and Ladwig (2010) denote that this aspect is changing because government institutions have realized the importance of family members and friends in the recovery process of an individual. On this basis, government institutions in conjunction with health care organizations have sought to train close family members on how to handle their patients, once they are discharged from the hospital (Shulz and Sherwood, 2008).

An example of a health care organization that collaborates with government health care institutions in offering these services is the Black pool teaching hospital (Harris, 2010). This hospital is one of the leading health care institutions in the United Kingdom, and it has recognized the importance of family members in ensuring that the patient recovers quickly (Brown, 2013). Brown (2013) denotes that when a patient is discharged from the facilities of Black pool teaching hospital, the hospital provides guidance to the closest family members on how to take care of the patient under consideration. Henderson, Hanson and Reynolds (2003) denote that the government encourages these types of programs, by funding hospitals that provide these services.

The government has realized that in as much as home carers are untrained; they play a great role in the recovery process of a patient (Stacey, 2011). This is because a patient is more likely to trust his friend or family member as opposed to another stranger who seeks to provide assistance to them, just because they are professionals and trained in matters to do with taking care of the sick (Henderson, Hanson and Reynolds, 2003). On this note, to help family members to take care of their patients in an efficient and effective manner, health institutions such as Black pool teaching hospital usually make a follow up on how their patients are taken care of by their families (Brown, 2013).

In case these institutions find that their patients are not recovering in an efficient and effective manner, then this organization will offer some professional advice on the family members on how to improve the care of their patients (Ceci and Pukis, 2012). On this note, for purposes of solving the high costs associated with hiring professional home carers, government health care institutions, private hospitals, have embarked on a sensitization measures for purposes of imparting basic health care skills to the family members of a patient (Senzon, 2003). This is to help them effectively care for their patient, ensuring a quick recovery from the diseases they are suffering from (Henderson, Hanson and Reynolds, 2003).

In as much as there is extensive research on how to improve the quality of services offered by home carers, little research exists on how the government and insurance agencies should fund the activities of home carers (Stacey, 2011). Ceci and Pukis (2012) believe that there is a need of the government to fund initiatives aimed at promoting the growth of family home carers. In funding these activities, the government should establish schools and institutions that offer short term courses of patients care. These courses should be designed in a manner that will impact basic health care skills to family members who are keen on taking care of their patients (Ceci and Pukis, 2012).

The government should make these courses compulsory to anybody who is untrained and is taking care of a patient (Senzon, 2003). It is important to denote that the main reason as to why people choose to use family home carers is that it is expensive to hire a professional home carer (Senzon, 2003). Government needs to recognize this fact, and it should therefore not charge exorbitant fees in their colleges. This will make it expensive to have a family home carer, as opposed to a professional home carer (Harris, 2010). Patients will be forced to hire professionals for their care, as it will be cheaper when compared to using family members to provide care (Shulz and Sherwood, 2008). The use of these professionals will in turn make the patient to experience some delays in his or her recovery process (Cook and Grove, 2012).

In conclusion, family members usually play a very important role in the recovery process of a patient. It is these people who are more concerned with the health status of their patient, to an extent that they can even fund the patient’s health care bills. Training these people on some basic health care skills will help in a great way to improve the health of their patients. This is because they will use the skills under consideration to assist the patient in all manner possible in order to make sure that they quickly recover from their illnesses. On this basis, the government should encourage the growth of family home carers, and promoting the development and growth of family home carers should be one of its major health care policies.


Phaladze, N. (2001). The plight of family caregivers in home based care in Botswana. Botswana Notes and Records, 33, 73-81.

Ackley, B. J., & Ladwig, G. B. (2010). Nursing diagnosis handbook: an evidence-based guide to planning care (9th ed.). Maryland Heights, Mo.: Mosby.

Brown, P. A. (2013). Quick reference to wound care: palliative, home, and clinical practices (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ceci, C., & Purkis, M. E. (2012). Perspectives on care at home for older people. New York: Routledge.

Cook, T., & Grove, H. (2012). Case Study: Home Care Case: Aging Baby Boomer Possibilities. Journal of Financial Education, 38, 67-92.

Harris, M. D. (2010). Handbook of home health care administration (5th ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett.

Henderson, M. L., Hanson, L. C., & Reynolds, K. S. (2003). Improving nursing home care of the dying a training manual for nursing home staff. New York: Springer Pub. Co..

Senzon, S. (2003). Reversing gum disease naturally a holistic home care program. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons.

Shulz, R., & Sherwood, P. (2008). Physical and Mental Health Effects of Family Caregiving. Am J Nurs, 23(27), 1. 

Stacey, C. (2011). The Caring Self; The Work Experiences of Home Care Aides. Culture of Politics and Health Care Works, 1, 216-220.


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