Patients Face Stigma and Emotional Challenges - Nurses Lack Adequate Support Due to Lack of Time and Resources

Health care faces challenges, especially in dealing with individuals with long-term health problems. Research indicates there are physical, emotional, and social challenges faced by those with long-term health conditions.

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Patients Face Stigma and Emotional Challenges - Nurses Lack Adequate Support Due to Lack of Time and Resources
4 Min Read June 1st, 2022

New research shows that patients with long-term health conditions face stigma and emotional challenges associated with their health condition. Nurses feel unable to provide adequate support due to a lack of time and resources.

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research and sponsored by Convatec, included responses from 200 patients or their caregivers and 200 nurses in the United States. Almost everyone surveyed, 99% of patients and their caregivers, said stigma could negatively impact or slow perceived healing.

Stigma Can Affect Healing

The nurses who care for the patient agree that perceived sigma adversely impacts their care recipient. The research showed that 96% of the nurses surveyed agreed that a patient's physical healing can be affected by stigma.

The survey found that 87% of the respondents felt some stigma associated with their or the person in their care's current health condition. Many of the care recipients felt embarrassed to talk about their health problems. Forty-four percent indicated they were embarrassed, and 43% said their health challenge isn't regularly discussed and is rarely represented in the media.

There seems to be many physical, emotional, and social challenges encountered by those with long-term health conditions, such as living with a stoma or wound, managing diabetes, urinary retention, cancer, and more.

The impact of stigma on patients cannot be understated.

Karim Bitar, the CEO of Convatec

"These survey results demonstrate why emotional and mental health is a societal health priority today. We need to do more, as an industry, to help prevent stigma among these patients – by showcasing stories and experiences of how our patients live confidently, by providing peer-to-peer support, and by making conversations easier between friends, family and care teams," said Karim Bitar, the CEO of Convatec.

Convatec is a global medical products and technologies company that focuses on solutions for the management of chronic conditions. 

Patients and Caregivers Want Information 

Patients and their caregivers almost unanimously (almost 96%) would like more information about the health condition they are dealing with. Over half of the respondents (53%) said they would prefer that information come through conversations with their medical team.

The desire for patients to want more support has increased due to the COVID-19 virus crisis, as health care professionals felt more overwhelmed and strained than ever before.

Nurses Need More Time and Resources

The survey showed that more than 2 in 3 nurses (68%) felt unable to fully support their patients. Almost all (96%) agreed that they need more time, resources, and education to fully care for them.

According to the survey:

  • 71% of nurses need more time to spend with their patients
  • 56% feel they need more time to be able to devote to learning and education
  • 51% feel they are currently lacking the resources they need to share directly with patients to care for them most effectively

Additionally, while most nurses (82%) feel 'completely or mostly comfortable' speaking with their patients about challenges related to their current health conditions, 60% say they are less than completely comfortable. Of those who are less than completely comfortable, 47% say it's because they lack the quality time to do so.

Long-Term Health Care Face Similar Concerns

As those with health problems enter custodial long-term health care, some of the same concerns would seem to apply. Long-term health care providers in facilities and in-home settings face the same lack of time and resources.

The same sigma might also be felt by those in nursing homes, assisted living, and in-home care settings. This could be why many older adults resist getting help or even admit that they need help with daily living activities.   

The delay in receiving the proper care support can make their needs worsen quicker. Most professionals indicate that if an older adult gets appropriate care right away, they can have a better quality of life for a longer period of time. 

Better conversations between medical providers, care recipients, and caregivers will better manage the situation and ensure better care and increased quality of life. 

Significant Financial Considerations

There is a financial consideration in long-term health care, just like health care in general. The larger payor of long-term health care services in the United States is the Medicaid program. The program will pay for long-term care services if the care recipient has little or no income or assets. However, since this is a government program, the funds are limited, and reimbursements to care providers are low. Quality of care is often diminished.

Health insurance and Medicare (including supplements) pay very little for long-term care services. While Long-Term Care Insurance provides ample funding for care, many people fail to obtain coverage. This leaves the caregiving to untrained and unprepared family caregivers or professional care paid from income and assets.

The rising costs of long-term health care services pose a significant financial issue for families. These costs are sharply increasing due to increasing demand, labor shortages, and higher labor costs. While the costs vary depending on where a person lives, all areas of care are going up every year, according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

The pressure on families and finances is a significant concern for families as they deal with long-term care for a loved one. Planning beforehand makes sense, but the best time to obtain Long-Term Care Insurance in when you are in your 40s or 50s. 

The entire health care sector faces financial hardships, but the COVID-19 crisis has made it much worse.

"(The pandemic) is the greatest financial threat in history for hospitals and health systems and is a serious obstacle to keeping the doors open," said Rick Pollack, President, and CEO of the American Hospital Association.

The long-term care and the rest of the health care sector are separated. Long-term health care remains in the hands of families and their personal finances, with only Medicaid for the poor and Long-Term Care Insurance as funding options. 

However, LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, and when many people go to purchase coverage, they cannot do so due to pre-existing poor health issues. It becomes imperative that more people focus on long-term health care as part of their retirement planning before health issues creep up, preventing them from planning. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Getting access to quality care options and reducing the stress on family remain the primary concerns about long-term health care other than the growing cost of care. The cost of care can reduce the quality and increase stress unless you are prepared.

Being prepared for future declining health, mobility problems, and dementia is easy if you do it sooner than later. For many people, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance has become a big part of their retirement plan.

Some people delay or ignore the problem. They either perceive the issue as not a big concern or think they can wait until they get older. Neither is true. The risk of needing long-term health care grows over time, and the costs can be devastating.

What surprises some people is how affordable Long-Term Care Insurance can be when appropriately designed and you select the right insurance company. Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Insurance companies must file their products and pricing with each state's insurance department so no individual agent, agency, or advisor can offer special deals.

Seeking help from a qualified specialist who works with the top companies will make the process much easier. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.

You might have questions and LTC NEWS answers many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News.

Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care

Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price. 

Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Find a specialist who represents the top companies as premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Leading specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.

A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Planning Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS

Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.

One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.

LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Need Help Now for Mom or Dad?

If your family is already in crisis and you need to find help for mom or dad, LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.

Start by reading our guides -  

If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Assistance in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance. 

Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. 

If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation. 

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Advantages of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well. 

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

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Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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