Humans experience life in different stages, including birth, childhood, adolescence/teenager, adulthood, and death, which make the end of life. As human beings transition from one stage of life to the next, they interact with the healthcare system to fulfill their health needs. Additionally, as the individuals move from one stage of life to another, they experience care differently. For instance, the elderly are more vulnerable to health conditions making them seek healthcare services more frequently than the young ones (Araujo de Carvalho et al., 2022). The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the stages of life and the influence of age in health care from a patient perspective. Also, I will interview a 70 years old friend to share his experiences with the healthcare system.
Stages-of-Life and The Influence of Age on Health Care from a Patient’s Perspective
Life begins at birth, and infants rely on their parents for protection, care, and nourishment. The next stage is childhood. Like infants, children depend on their parents or caregivers, or guardians. It then progresses to teenagerhood, still controlled by parents and guardians on healthcare issues. Adulthood begins at 18, and as individuals grow older, the immune system weakens, immunity lower, and body organs and systems become slow, making them vulnerable for infection and infestation, which is a significant increase for their health care needs (Kapu et al., 2022).
Individuals perceive healthcare differently in each stage of life. The elderly are more concerned about how care is delivered, unlike children who can’t reflect on healthcare and share the experience (Wyman et al., 2022). The aged can reflect and share their healthcare experience showing the influence of age on healthcare and healthcare-seeking behaviors. The following is an interview with my 70-year-old friend, who was discharged from the hospital four weeks ago, whereby I deployed open-ended questions prepared in advance.
Me: Hello, Mr. Johnston. I appreciate your effort in coming to share your experience in your interaction with the health care system.
Friend: Hello, I am grateful for this opportunity to share my experience in the healthcare system with you.
Me: Do you feel your stage of life had any effect on your interaction with health care professionals?
Friend: Absolutely. I have noted that nurses offer personalized care, and I am the beneficiary of the same during my recent hospitalization. I was overly taken care of because of my age.
Me: which areas of the hospital or clinic were most concerned with your well-being and feelings?
Friend: Nurses are trained to handle patients’ feelings and well-being. I was adequately taken care of by nurses, and they were friendly and understanding.
Me: Was your family with you during this hospital stay?
Friend: Yes, my family was allowed to visit, and they were always present.
Me: Was your family involved in your treatment, such as post-procedure instructions?
Friend: They were consulted in every aspect of my health, and I felt the care was patient-centered.
Me: I am grateful for your precious time and insights.
From the above, it is evident that age is a major factor in patients’ interaction with the healthcare system. According to Grocott and McSherry (2022), effective communication plays a significant role in care delivery. Therefore, health workers should give maximum attention to their clients irrespective of their stage of life.
Araujo de Carvalho, I., Epping-Jordan, J., Pot, A., Kelley, E., Toro, N., Thiyagarajan, J., & Beard, J. (2022). Organizing integrated healthcare services to meet older people’s needs. Retrieved 22 June 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5677611/.
Grocott, A., & McSherry, W. (2022). The Patient Experience: Informing Practice through Identification of Meaningful Communication from the Patient’s Perspective. Retrieved 22 June 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29558392/.
Kapu, A., Sicoutris, C., & Kleinpell, R. (2022). Measuring Outcomes in Advanced Practice Nursing: Practice-Specific Quality Metrics. Nurse Key. Retrieved 20 June 2022, from https://nursekey.com/measuring-outcomes-in-advanced-practice-nursing-practice-specific-quality-metrics/.
Wyman, M., Shiovitz-Ezra, S., & Bengel, J. (2022). Ageism in the Health Care System: Providers, Patients, and Systems. Retrieved 22 June 2022, from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-73820-8_13.
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