Chronic Cardiac Condition
It should be noted that “Despite significant improvements in treatment and prevention, heart diseases and stroke have been leading causes of death in the United States for almost a century. They also are leading causes of disability and poor health-related quality of life, and cost an estimated $273 billion in direct medical costs per year” (Greenlund et al., 2012). It has been observed that primarily the population that is most often affected by the concerned diseased condition constitute of the age range of 65 years and older and furthermore, “as life expectancy increases, greater numbers of older adults are living cardiovascular (CV) conditions, which are frequently experienced with comorbid physical and mental conditions as well as social challenges. In their efforts to prevent and control CV conditions among older Americans, public health workers must consider these additional factors” (Greenlund et al., 2012).
Chronic cardiovascular condition is a public health issue for the Americans primarily due to the fact that myriads of Americans are suffering from the condition and the direct and indirect expense related to the process of treating the condition is thoroughly generating negative impact on the economy of the country. This, in turn, is acting as an extra burden on the shoulders of the tax players. Moreover, it is a worrisome health condition and a public health issue for the Americans because; “Although the prevalence of CV disease in the US population increases with age, it is not a normal process of ageing. For those who survive to older adult years, health status is the result of cumulative exposures and health conditions throughout one’s life. The associations between risk factors and health and illness may be different for older versus younger cohorts because of the effects of survivor biases or comorbid conditions” (Greenlund et al., 2012). Moreover, it has been observed that the surge in the rate of aging population combined with the surge in the degree of the rise of chronic cardiovascular conditions is affecting the lives of millions of Americans directly and indirectly. It has been observed that “As increasing numbers of older adults live with CV disease and other chronic conditions, their physical, mental, and social functioning, as well as quality of life, are affected. For older adults in particular, a goal of public health has been to postpone and reduce years of ill health into fewer years before death, a “compression of morbidity”” (Greenlund et al., 2012). Furthermore it has also been seen that the cognitive aspects of individuals, who are suffering from chronic CVs, are also impacted in a negative manner.
It must be noted that to alleviate the impact of the concerned health condition and the public health issue the community of occupational therapists has already extended its helping hand. In this respect it should be noted that the contribution of occupational therapists in this regard is undeniable and there is no scope of undermining such effort in any way. The very nature of the work of the occupational therapists enable them and makes them more capable of contributing to the process of treating individuals with chronic cardiovascular conditions. Occupational therapists have a competitive advantage in terms of treating such patients primarily because they are accustomed to working with people of all ages and backgrounds and this include the aged ones too. The support of occupational therapists, in the context of treating individuals suffering from chronic cardiovascular conditions, can eventually bring about real different to the quality of life of the concerned individuals. Moreover, the role of occupational therapists in the treatment regimes should be considered an essential one primarily because; “Occupational therapy provides practice support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure” (British Heat Foundation, n.d.). Also, it should be noted that CVs are directly related to conditions like stress and anxiety and such comorbid conditions must be treated with the intervention of occupational therapists. This is because “Issues that might lead to a referral to an occupational therapists include everyday functional difficulties, stress, anxiety/depression, fatigue management, sleeping difficulties, return to work/vocational advice, or loss of confidence” (British Heat Foundation, n.d.).
It should also be noted that occupational therapists provide both short-term and long-term assistance to those suffering from chronic cardiovascular conditions and they do so while complying with the rules and regulations set up through public health policies in a thorough manner. It should be noted that keeping in mind the need of accomplishing the objectives of the profession and the need of adhering to and complying with the rules and regulations of the health care realm, occupational therapists contribute largely to the development of the health condition of individuals suffering from chronic cardiovascular conditions. The occupational therapist offers physical, psychological and social assessments which may include “assessment of equipment, aids and adaptations” (British Heat Foundation, n.d.). Moreover, it must be noted that complying with the set rules, regulations and treatment approaches, occupational therapists also provide help in stress and anxiety management through the process of making the patient understand the importance of raising the degree of awareness about the same. Occupational therapists also provide relaxation sessions on a one-to-one or group basis and they advice on pacing the process of energy conservation on the part of the patients (British Heat Foundation, n.d.).
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Greenlund, K.J., Keenan, N.L., Clayton, P.F., Pandey, D.K., & Hong, Y. (2012). Public Health Options for Improving Cardiovascular Health Among Older Americans. American Journal of Public Health, 102(8), 1498-1507.