Published: 08/14/2014 - Updated: 10/07/2018
Author: Birgit Bastl
Herman A. (63) has already spent three years in bed. His mother, his daughter, and a nurse take constant care of him. After a sudden stroke, he spent one week in a coma, and has survived these last three years with four brain surgeries. Today, he barely recognizes his family, his surroundings are completely unfamiliar to him. He can no longer speak, and can only move his head with the attention of his nurse, who does daily recommended rehabilitation exercises with him to strengthen his muscles. The nurse and her assistants bathe and feed him, and due to the gravity of his situation, he needs constant care, 24 hours a day. Herman, who once was a successful business man, now needs special attention.
According to Statistika, a statistics porta, the number of people who need special attention could increase to nearly 3.4 million people by 2030, in Germany alone. 2.2 million of these will be women, and 1.2 million will be men. According to these statistics, women are most affected.
What does special attention mean?
Physicians recognize 6 groups of illnesses that are responsible for the majority of cases that need special attention:
- Circulatory system diseases
- Mental disorders
- Nervous system diseases
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Cancer and Tumors
Circulatory system diseases
Circulatory system diseases (of the brain and heart) are the primary cause of special attention around the world. Several individuals, like Herman, are not aware of the known early signs, like Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). This includes sudden difficulty in pronouncing words, blurry vision, dizzy spells, arm or leg paralysis that normally disappears within a few minutes. A lot of patients just ignore these symptoms. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should be immediately evaluated in a hospital, because early intervention can prevent grave subsequent consequences, according to physicians. But it is also frequently difficult to determine the causes, and several complicated and costly tests must be ran. Herman, for example, had experienced right-side facial paralysis three years before his stroke. The only thing he received for treatment were rehabilitation exercises to recuperate muscular movement in the face.
Strokes are caused by bleeding or a blockage in the brain’s blood vessels. This can cause death. If the patient survives, they may recuperate within 6 months, best case scenario, or this could take several years, or require special attention for life. These consequences cause permanent restrictions, especially in terms of mobility.
Patients that have suffered a heart attack then become incapacitated for performing normal physical and daily activities, which is of course, very stressful for them. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and extreme weakness. Help of a nurse or special attention is very important in these situations.
Both behavioral disorders and illnesses like Alzheimer and other conditions that frequently appear in the elderly, are considered mental disorders.
Nervous system diseases
These diseases include multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions are chronic, and can make a patient entirely dependent on the help of others. Multiple sclerosis can even set in at an early age.
These disorders include arthritis and rheumatic diseases, which can be very painful and restrictive of movement. A lot of patients find simple chores to be difficult, as they can no longer easily move their fingers and hands.
Cancer and tumors
Tumors and cancer, especially in terminal stages of the disease, cause severe pain, digestive alterations, and general weakness. In most cases, these people require special attention.
The final group includes senility and dementia. This frequently involves unspecific symptoms that restrict the patients’ abilities and movement.
If any of your family members experiences this with a loved one, it is very important to seek the help of a family counselor.
Doctors and social security categorize special attention in three levels. In level 1 special attention, patients need help with personal hygiene, feeding, or moving, at least once a day.
Level 2 special attention includes people that require the previous types of help, at least 3 times a day, at different times of the day.
Lastly, level 3 special attention includes patients like Herman that need care day and night. You can find more useful information at azoline.de.
Attention and care for affected people is no easy topic. There is a growing number of elderly people and patients that suffer from cardiovascular and chronic diseases, which grow at an alarming rate throughout the world.
Outpatient help centers and hospitalizations must adapt to this new situation and offer unique services. House care should be better supported, because family and those that care for the ill are frequently undereducated, and day to day tasks can seem hugely cumbersome to them. Keep in mind as well, that several patients live alone, and don’t have family members or close ones nearby.
Prevention also plays a key role, as diet, habits, and other aspects, like picking up on early alert signs, can make a huge difference, and lead to a better quality of life when older.
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