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CNA Training & Classes | April 30, 2017

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Emotional Needs

The residents’ need for emotional and mental health care is important, as being healthy not only physically but also mentally and emotionally determines the ability of the residents to accept and adjust to the changes of life.

This means that residents can accept that they will be dependent on other people’s assistance, that they might have disabilities and/or diseases, that they will grieve normally and fully accept losing loved ones and many others.

Being able to accept such changes may be difficult, but if they will be able to cope with it well, then they would not feel sad about talking about the past and will be able to have a positive outlook in life for the future.

Dealing With Depression

For most residents, adjustments to aging are hard.  Coping may take too long because they might want to spend those productive years with their loved ones who may be already gone and they must live in the present which is different to their expectations.

Patients’ remembrances of the past can be painful especially if there are unmet goals and some depressing events in their life thus making them feel alone and lonely.

Other residents may feel abandoned if they are put in a long-term, causing them to feel depressed. It is important to detect depression as early as possible, because if the depression worsens the resident may become a suicide risk.

Signs of depression may include isolation, eating alone, not participating in the care plan and many others. The family, friends or caregivers should notice these signs early so that they can intervene and the depression would not get worse.

Meeting the residents physiological needs is sometimes a lot easier than meeting their psychosocial needs.  It takes lots of skill and practice from nursing assistants to be able to deal with it.

In order to deal with patients’ psychological needs, you should be a stable and balanced person yourself. All the characteristics of a kind, considerate person must be present in a good CNA as well. The ability to talk and listen, the ability to show that you care and are there for them are just some of them.

Showing kindness and consideration are examples of positive traits that residents should see in you. You should encourage them to participate in various activities as well as praise their accomplishments so they will feel more independent and improve their outlook in life.

Since nursing assistants spend more time with residents than any other member of the healthcare team, it is primarily your responsibility to notice these subtle changes in patients mood and behavior that indicate depression.

Once you notice these signs, you should discuss it with your supervisor or nurse who will then decide on the appropriate course of action for the patient in care.