WADDAH NASSAR, M.D.
Is there a particularly challenging diagnosis for seniors?
It depends on what diagnosis you are talking about and the complications of that diagnosis and the patient’s compliance and patient medical history.
In general, the more challenging diagnoses are not the diagnosis but the patient.
The more challenging patients are the younger ones who are hit with acute, progressive ailments.
Chronic illness is something that a lot of people can handle, including seniors and elderly. They get used to it, they accept it and have time to deal with it.
But acute progressive illnesses -- such as with someone who was 40 years old and had three kids and had a stroke -- that is really a challenging situation. It’s very difficult to deal with the dynamics of the changes that occur with that kind of acute change. It hits the family hard.
I’m sure SYNERGY HomeCare would want you to know that, even with younger patients, they are there for the families to provide home care services. This can come in many forms, such as transportation to appointments, companionship, medication administration, meal preparation and care.
Q: When should patients or families consider getting help?
Getting help from agencies varies on the dynamics of the family and the level of the dependency the patient has.
You really need to get some help if the patient has a condition that requires a great deal of medical attention, if he or she needs the manpower, and also if they need the time and effort and the knowledge. It’s virtually impossible for anybody to take care of anybody 24/7 forever. People get burned out and it is not a feasible thing to do. It is impossible.
And that impacts the quality of care provided to that person eventually.
(For more than 22 years, Dr. Waddah Nassar has been involved with hospice care and is medical director of several Oklahoma hospices providing home care services for seniors. A board certified hospice and family physician, Dr. Nassar formerly served as chairman of the Governor’s Hospice Advisory Board.)