Caffs Assesment Task

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The Chronically ill
Legal Definition: People who are chronically ill have a recurring or constant illness. For some it will result in periods of inconvenience, for others a lifetime of pain and suffering. It may also be terminal and therefore will result in death. Social Definition: The chronically ill are people in society who are living with an illness that is permanent or life threatening. Initially it may not be severe but as it progresses it can become more serious and even fatal. According to the National Health Survey (Australia’s Health 2000) around three-quarters of the population reported having one or more long-term health conditions (experienced for at least 6 months). Examples of health conditions include asthma, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, emphysema, hay fever, mental illness, back and neck problems, and irritable bowel syndrome. The needs of the chronically ill include access to services, education, financial support, security and safety, housing, employment, healthcare, and senses of self-esteem and identity. Access to services for the chronically ill is a very important need as additional work is required to manage a chronic illness and manage the limitations created by the physical and psychological difficulties associated with disease. Those suffering from chronic disease need a centralised system that enables them to access a multitude of resources such as health care and support. People who are chronically ill also need assistance in identifying and accessing services, as well as transport to a range of services, and services that come to the individual. The chronically ill rely heavily on health professionals and luckily in Australia we have a large range of doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, physiotherapists, naturopaths, optometrists, occupational therapists and audiologists. Health services are available to the chronically ill such as home health care and respite care centres on a short-term basis to provide respite for families who have a chronically ill patient living at home. Chronically ill individuals have the same right to education as those who are well, and schools and other educational institutions cannot deny access on the basis of chronic illness. However, their illness may have an effect of their attendance. Special provisions for illness, such as those allowed for the HSC, are also provided at universities and TAFE institutes.

There are some hospitals, particularly children’s hospitals, where school is accessible and conducted on site. Home schooling or distant education is also an option with some school, TAFE and university courses. Packages of work can be sent by mail or the internet which is completed at home and then returned for marking. This provides the individual with a flexible time structure that can be suited to their specific treatment. Education can enhance a person’s intellectual well-being, as well as take the focus of and attention away from illness. Educating individuals about their illness is very important, so that they have an understanding of it and can develop self-management strategies to help control it. This will give an individual with a chronic illness a sense of control, and overall knowledge about their illness. Many people with chronic disease continue to work, however, it can be difficult when days are needed off due to the individual undergoing treatment or attending appointments. Some employers may offer flexible work situations such as working from home or working in a different section of the workplace although other employers may not provide much flexibility. If all the employees’ sick days are used and the employee cannot return, they may lose their position. The chronically ill person can then find it difficult to get another job due to the fact that they require a large amount of days off. Fortunately many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, can be controlled and work is not overly affected. Worksafe Australia is a joint...
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