The definition of chronic care is quite self-explanatory. Patients who need chronic care have the following conditions:
- Depression and other mental illnesses
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Autoimmune conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Dementia and Alzheimer disease
- Any other long-term illness
Patients who have any of those conditions mentioned above or any other long-term illness must be treated and monitored constantly by medical professions. Whereas patients that need acute care are facing short-term illnesses and once the patient heals completely, then he or she does not need any further treatment. Examples of patients that need acute care are when there is a broken bone involved, have the flu or any other virus or infection, or those who had gotten into a mild accident where full recovery is guaranteed.
However, those who are suffering from long-term illness need to be treated constantly and will need to have care life-long. Patients who are chronically ill and who do not receive the proper ongoing treatment will become disabled. Additionally, they will end up succumbing to their illnesses as well. This is why those who have these life-long conditions need to be treated and monitored accordingly for the rest of their lives. Even during times of remission.
One of the common issues that most patients who are chronically ill face are:
- Constant pain – Most patients who have any chronic condition will suffer from a lot of pain. Especially if they have ailments such as arthritis, many autoimmune disorders, and multiple sclerosis. They are going to need to have their pain managed by doctors constantly. Especially at times when the painkiller loses its effectiveness or if it causes unpleasant side effects. This battle that chronically ill patients face is lifelong.
- Digestive problems – Most patients that have lifelong illnesses such as most autoimmune disorders, diabetes, cirrhosis, and so on are going to have frequent gastrointestinal disturbances. This means their doctors will have to constantly prescribe them stomach remedies such as anti-nausea medication.
- Mental and emotional disturbances – The fact of the matter, regardless of what chronic condition any patient is facing, he or she is going to become very depressed, can be apathetic, and will always be in poor spirits. There is no surprise there because many of these patients that are frequently suffering will need plenty of therapy. The therapy that they will need will be for life because that is how long they will be affected by the illness since there are no cured for any of these chronic conditions.
Additionally, patients who are chronically ill are encouraged to join support groups where they can talk to others who completely understand what they are going through. And, friends and family members of these patients must also be there for them no matter what. Living with a chronic illness is an isolating experience, and those who are suffering will appreciate compassion along with getting the proper care.