Understanding Specific Needs in Health and Social Care

Task 1

Older people, just like the younger ones, would like to have good and stable health in order to remain self-determining for as long as possible. It is evident that as people get more and elder, their tendency and ability to be self-supporting is dependent on good and stable health as well as the nature of health care and services provided to them. Studies have shown that East London is composed of an ageing population whose number has been rising since 1930s. Currently, it is estimated that the aged population above the age of sixty years comprise of 20% of the aggregate population (Ageuk 2014, p. 5). The users of health care services comprise mainly of the aged population but addressing such needs has been problematic. It has been upon the NHS and other health care providers in East London to ensure that quality and integrated health care services are affordable to all populations regardless of social backgrounds. This report is going to focus on health perceptions of health, disability, illness and behavior, a cases study of Mr. Holland Park, who has specific needs.

Disability is the aspect of having either a psychological or physical impairment, or that will have negative impacts on an individual’s ability to perform his/her duties in the normal manner. Disability takes many forms and as such social workers need to have an in depth knowledge regarding such types of disabilities in order to cater for an individual’s special needs. The impacts of disabilities are far reaching and will not only impact on their mental and general physical conditions but will also impact largely on such individual’s general health. According to the World Health Organization, Health has been defined as the ‘State of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ It is said to be a condition that is dynamic in nature and that results from the constant adjustment of the body and adaptation that results from stress’s response and any environmental changes for the maintenance of an inner stability usually referred to as homeostasis. When the body is not in good health, the resulting condition is then referred to as illness. Illness will have adverse effects on the body of an individual and the physical, as well as mental conditions of an individual are more likely to put under jeopardy. Poor health has led into challenging behaviors of individuals. However, the effects of illnesses will be different from one individual to the other depending on the nature of the illness. It is the work of a social worker to employ his/her skill to help these individuals who may under different circumstances.

Unlike in the ancient times, in modern times the perception of illnesses, disabilities, as well as health have changed because of the advanced and integrated changes that have taken place in the health sector. In the past, people had little knowledge of addressing the above mentioned challenges. However, in modern times, there has been emerging technologies that have brought about solutions to address different forms of disabilities as well as offer treatment to different types of illnesses. Disabilities have taken many forms, but the health sector has put in place modalities that can better provide quality and affordable medical solutions to patients and as such a family can trust any certified health care facility with their family member. For instance, Mr. Holland will be in safe hands as he receives treatment from our care home in East London and hence family members to this old man should not be worried.

Legislations, regarding health facilities have been made and amended time and time again changing the general outlook of the health sector. Some acts have been put in place in favor of the general population. For instance, the government through the health sector has embraced the idea of providing health insurance policies in order to cater for the increasing health care needs among the citizens. Eventually, this has made health care provision cheaper and affordable to many people in the population. History has it that, some cultures and religions in the past banned their people against from accessing medical care from health facilities. Such communities believed in a supreme being that would provide natural healing to the members of the society having failed health. This phenomenon is still prevalent in some cultures but at a reduced percentages. Such social policies deprived their people from accessing health, but the situation has taken a new direction and many people can now access health care services without much complications inflicted by their cultures.

Task 2

There is a strong and positive correlation between hearing difficulties and dementia. People are experiencing hearing problems are in danger of developing dementia over time, and especially if the hearing problems are not addressed at the earliest time possible. In fact individuals who have a problem a mild hearing problem risks twice to develop dementia compared to those who have no hearing problems. The problem may go up to a threefold among those people experiencing moderate hearing challenges and continuously move up to a fivefold among those individuals experiencing severe hearing problems. Our nursing home has come up with mechanisms and strategies that aim at helping all the above mentioned hearing disability categories.

It has come to the attention of the nursing home as well as the NHS that people with hearing problems can improve their conditions through the use of hearing aids. Such equipment is available in our nursing home and is availed at relatively low prices that are pocket friendly and that is affordable to a wide range of people. The prices are such that they cut across the board to incorporate both the rich and the poor in the society. There also exist some alternatives to the hearing aids that include longer-term implants and have been considered relatively good. The nursing home has also put in place mechanisms that entail lip reading. Lip reading has helped people to communicate with other people, and it is relatively easier.

Besides lip reading, people with hearing problems have also been provided with note takers as well as use of other technologies in order to help them easily communicate with other individuals. The facility has adopted the use of British Sign Language, but an individual using such language will require an interpreter in order to ensure that communication is facilitated and effected. Mr. Holland may also be provided with assistance dogs that are well trained for specifically helping people with hearing disabilities. These dogs help such individuals on a day to day basis by alerting them on any incoming sound, whether helpful or when such sounds signifies potential hazards.

The payment of such services is catered for by different parties depending on the situation of the person receiving the services. For instance, if the person needing the services is employed and the remedies are mainly meant to offer assistance in the office, then the employer to the patient is required to cater for the total costs. However, if a person needs such assistance for social care support then he/she will be expected to meet such costs by himself.

Most are the times when people experiencing hearing difficulties are discriminated, and isolated from the rest members of the society. They will experience hardships and challenges in their work places, in meetings, and social gatherings among many more. Our nursing home has come up with programs that focus on showing love and care for all people with hearing problems.

However, the cost burden is not only placed on the family members. There exist some programs that help family members in meeting some of the required medical bills. For instance, there is a program that is extensive and has provided situations whereby some council can provide aids to patients through payment schemes. Such include direct payment schemes that focus on helping people with hearing difficulties to live on their own without relying on their families. For instance, there is the Sensory Support Team that help people are experiencing hearing or sight problems and all those in need of assistance in regard to British Sign Language (Roffey & Parry 2013, p. 41). There is also another provision that if a family member provides care for another family receiving health care services then the former may ask for the assessment of the carer from a local council.  Once diagnosed with hearing problems, then such people can be signposted to the community services. They will be fitted with hearing aids that will help them adopt to the community.

All the available services both in local council as well as in a nursing home are non-discriminative and are meant to address any form of disability and all necessary adjustments are made on a regular basis in order to address any shortcomings, and whenever deemed reasonable and appropriate. The nursing home has the idea of developing even better health care programs that will provide improved health care services’ provision to all people who exhibit hearing difficulties. This will better address and meet new challenging areas of people with hearing problems.

Task 3

Mr. Holland has been suffering from hearing difficulties and is in early stages of developing dementia and as such appropriate and effective strategies have to be put in place in order to counter face the problem. It has been established that hearing losses have not only been undiagnosed but rather have been misdiagnosed as dementia. As such, it has been the responsibility of the professional team in our nursing home care facility to make the correct diagnosis in order to ensure that the right medication is used. However, hearing aids have been found to be much effective to those people who could be suffering from either hearing losses or dementia or both. As above stated, Mr. Holland is a victim of hearing disabilities but in his early stages of developing dementia.

It has been found challenging and sometimes difficult to manage people who could be having those two problems. This is especially in the later stages, where combination of the two has posed great risks to the lives of the victims. People suffering from the aforementioned illnesses can experience behavioral and psychological difficulties, but this can always be avoided if the diagnosis is detected earlier and the appropriate modalities are adopted. Hearing aids have been found to be very effective in addressing issues related to hearing losses, as well as those of dementia. To some extent, it will be advisable to use hearing equipment as one of the mechanisms of treating the illnesses that Mr. Holland is suffering from. However, different past studies indicate that illnesses relate to hearing difficulties, dementia, and deafness are in most cases addressed separately. It has only been a report obtained from the family members that Mr. Holland is suffering from hearing disability and in early stages of developing dementia. However, the nursing home is yet to conduct another well and more addressed examination on Mr. Holland in order to come up with the most appropriate mechanism of addressing his problems.

The nursing home finds hearing aids beneficial and effective to Mr. Holland because of the following reasons. First, they will be helpful in increasing the safety of the user. An individual will be able to detect any potential hazard and as such be keen to take care in advance. Apart from alerting the service user of the potential hazard, the hearing aids will create awareness in regard to the source of the potential danger. Secondly, unlike other strategies such as BSL, where training will be required, hearing aids do not require any training and as such can be very effective to persons who are in their old age. Besides training, BSL may require an interpreter in order to facilitate and effect communication. Such will thus input an extra burden and hence become challenging. It may also attract extra costs to pay the interpreter. Hearing aids will enable an individual to be independent without any reliance as they will help the service user to receive and understand any information in a clear way. It has thus been found effective and more appropriate to Mr. Holland, who is in his old age and may find difficulties in undertaking trainings.

The existence of local support programs such as the system payments will aid Mr. Holland’s family in meeting the medication costs. Hearing aids are relatively expensive but programs such as the above mentioned have provided assistance to different families of those people with hearing losses. It implies that Mr. Holland will be able to access his medication that is appropriate and effective, without necessarily inflicting much burden on his family.

There are emerging developments in the area of service users with specific needs. The NHS through care homes has undertaken strategies that aim at improving the standards of health care. There has also been an extension of access to services. The NHS has put in place strategies that aim at implementing free hearing and sight tests for people over the ages of sixty. The program will ensure that more and more people go for the tests. There has been a move for increased funding for cares that are long term. In fact during its implementation, the program provided for free medication of those people was in nursing homes. Its full implementation and application will ensure that medication costs are fully minimized making health care services accessible to a large group of people. There is a plan to develop programs that aim at supporting independence among those people suffering from different hearing problems. They aim at promoting rehabilitation and speed recovery while minimizing cases of hospitalization by keeping them as low as possible. Such will help vulnerable persons to live independently in without necessarily putting much burden to the family of the victims. Finally, older people will be helped on how to live healthy by putting in place counseling programs that target those with various hearing problems (KLEIN 2010, P. 56).

Task 4

Other terms that have been used to refer to challenging behavior include problem, difficulty, or socially unacceptable behavior. Challenging behavior has been used to define an extensive range of behaviors that are exhibited by different people who have communication and learning problems or any other related difficulties. It has been found that anyone in the society can exhibit a challenging behavior. From a broad perspective a challenging behavior, in the modern times, has been used to refer to describe any problematic behaviors that are currently facing the modern society and that possess a great challenge to parents, teachers, and professionals among other related individuals. It implies that a person who exhibits such behaviors is not necessarily a ‘problem’ and hence he/she cannot be fixed as the challenge. However, challenging behavior shows that something is wrong and as such something needs to be sorted out. It shows that something is unfulfilled and needs to be addressed. Challenging behavior does not imply that there is a need to stop someone who is doing something wrong, but in essence it implies that there is something wrong that requires to be addressed. Smith and Fox 2003, (as cited in Sailor 2009, p. 49) defined as any behavior whose pattern is repeated, or a behavior whose perception interferes that has high chances of interfering with the optimal engagement or daily interactions of individuals with peers or adults. As such, challenging behaviors will thus cause harm to the affected individual or other persons and can limit them from fulfilling some aspects of life. Challenging behaviors can take up many forms.

Challenging behaviors will have several impacts on health and social care organizations in considerably different ways. First will be financial constraints that will be placed on the health care as well as social care organizations. These facilities have to ensure that they employ those professionals who have the necessary education, skills, and experience in addressing appropriate for dealing with such problems. Well trained professionals will require considerable high remunerations depending on the level of knowledge, skills, or experience. Regular training may also be required for these professionals and the health care or social care organizations may be required to meet such costs.

In modern times, there has been a rising increase in the number of cases reported concerning people with challenging behaviors. There is thus a need to expand on the existing facilities such as accommodating buildings and the number of staff personnel. This in turn will also attract an increase in the amount of funds allocated to address cases related to challenging behaviors. Such will draw away an organization or heath care funds.

Despite the above mentioned challenges, health care or social care organization has to ensure that it employs the appropriate strategies to address different challenging behaviors associated with specific needs. For instance, strategies used to address cases of people exhibiting hearing related problems will include the following. Use of hearing aids, which has been considered most appropriate for both young and old. British Sign Language has also been applied in addressing issues related to hearing problems. This has involved the use of signs by deaf persons in order to facilitate and effect their communication with others. Assistance dogs can also be used in cases where someone is experiencing hearing losses.

Task 5

Challenging behavior, to include hearing losses, have far negatively affected the lives of many individuals. People who have shown such problematic behaviors have suffered discrimination and isolation from other members of the society either in social gatherings, in meetings, or while in the work places. In this report I have focused on people who are victims of hearing losses, with the example of Mr. Holland. Mr. Holland is suffering from hearing disabilities and at the early stages of developing dementia. I have covered on the perceptions that different people have in regard to health, disabilities, and illnesses right from the ancient past to modern times. Legislation as well as social policies, cultural and social practices, in regard to challenging behaviors, has also been covered in the report.

Secondly, the report has looked onto the Understanding perceptions of health, disability, illness and behavior. In task 2, I have highlighted on the importance of organization’s understanding different individual needs of people suffering from different challenging behaviors. For the purpose of this paper, people with hearing losses have been considered. That section has gone ahead to discuss on the available modalities that can be used to address issues related to hearing problems. It has laid much emphasis on hearing aids that are considered most appropriate for the biggest proportion of individuals suffering from hearing problems, deafness, as well as dementia. An example case has been that of Mr. Holland who is elderly and who may find it challenging to make use of the British Sign Language. In the same section, I have discussed on the available support programs that individuals suffering from different challenging behaviors can benefit from.

In task 3, I have discussed on the intervention strategies that are most appropriate in addressing hearing related challenges. I have gone further to discuss on the intended developmental programs that aim at strengthening the existing ones as well as reaching areas that have not earlier been addressed. These aim at better addressing and suiting the challenging behavior that affect different people.

The paper has focused on the concepts of challenging behavior in the next task. In this section, I have compiled an article that can be used in journal publication to make people aware of the challenges that can be caused by challenging behaviors. I have discussed on the various challenges that problem behaviors will have on both health care centers and social care organizations. This will assist the concerned stakeholders to put in place appropriate strategies in order to counter face such challenges even before they affect the health care or social care organization. Such appropriate strategies have been recommended in the same section, which are related to hearing problems.


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Klein, R. (2010). The new politics of the NHS: from creation to reinvention. Oxford, Radcliffe Pub.

Roffey, S & Parry, J. (2013). Special Needs in the Early Years: Supporting Collaboration, Communication and Co-ordination. London: Routledge.

Sailor, W. (2009). Handbook of positive behavior support. New York, Springer. http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=417137.