Quality of Life
What is quality of life?
Some people like life. Life is good to them. They enjoy it. Others do not feel good about their life. They have little joy. Quality of life is how much a person likes or does not enjoy their life. This class will help you learn ways that you can make a person’s quality of life better.
People in good health have a better quality of life than those that are sick, ill or in pain. People with good physical, mental and spiritual health have a high quality of life. They are usually happy and satisfied.
People with poor physical health, those with mental or emotional problems and a lack of spiritual health usually have a low quality of life. People with a poor quality of life do not enjoy life. They may be very unhappy.
Quality of life depends on a person’s:
Physical Quality of Life
Some of the things that add to or take away from a person’s physical quality of life are:
Illness, poor nutrition, poor personal hygiene, grooming and the lack of exercise lower the quality of life for some people. Many old adults have chronic physical disorders, such as diabetes, a stroke and weakness. These things lower the quality of life for these residents and patients.
Good health, nutrition, hygiene and grooming and regular exercise add to the quality of life. Nursing assistants and others can do many things to increase a person’s physical quality of life.
Mental Quality of Life
Some of the things that add to or take away from a person’s mental quality of life are:
When a person has a mental disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, when they can not think clearly, when they have poor self-esteem and the feeling that they have no control over themselves and the things around them, they will have a poor quality of life.
Good mental health, the ability to think clearly, good self-esteem and feelings of control over one’s life and one’s own decisions add to a good quality of life and happiness.
Quality of life is also good when a person is able to grow each and every day. It is good when they learn something new. It is good when they can do something well.
People of all ages want to be able to reach their goals and to be a part of a group. They want to be accepted, wanted and needed by others. They want to feel important and to have a place in this world.
Quality of life is better when a person is loved, accepted and feels that they belong in their:
The emotional quality of life is also better when a person is able to grow and reach their personal goals and hopes. Quality of life is good when a person is able to:
Spiritual Quality of Life
There are also things that affect a person’s spiritual quality of life. Some of the things that add to or take away from spiritual quality of life are the person’s:
Strong spiritual beliefs and personal values add to the quality of life. A poor spiritual quality of life can happen when these things are not present. People that do not believe in a spiritual life may be less happy with life than those who do believe in a spiritual life.
How Can We Make Our Patientsí Quality of Life Better?
We can help our patients and raise their quality of life by helping them to have the best possible physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
We help them physically so that they have a good physical quality of life. We can assist them to increase their quality of life by helping them to meet their spiritual needs, if they want to. We must assist them to keep their hope and to reach their goals. We must also let them make choices. We must let them have some control over their environment and their care. Lastly, we must treat them with the highest level of dignity and respect at all times.
Increasing Physical Well-Being & Quality of Life
The human body has to be taken care of every day. Humans need:
Nursing assistants can help increase the physical quality of life by making sure that their patients and residents have:
People that are sick or old may need the nursing assistant to feed them or to at least help them with meals and fluids. Many sick and old people are not even able to drink water without your help. They will be thirsty and dehydrated if their need for fluid is not met. It is up to the nursing staff to make sure that these patients get enough fluids, especially when they are very sick, confused, weak and not able to help themselves. Offer sips of water every time you enter a person’s room if they are allowed to drink.
Nursing assistants must also make sure that a person gets enough sleep and rest. These needs are greatest when a person is sick or ill. We should give our patients a quiet, comfortable, home like place to sleep and rest. Rest and sleep are needed so that the patient has a good quality of life. People will be unhappy and unhealthy when they do not get enough sleep and rest.
In addition to sleep and rest, our patients need exercise. Exercise helps a person to remain active and able to function. Our patients should have regular exercise and activity that meets their needs. For some people walking or simple arm exercises in a chair is all that they can do. Others may be able to run or jog. Exercise should be enjoyable to the person and certainly something that they are physically able to do.
Some patients are in need of restorative care. They may have had an illness or something like a stroke, for example, that takes away some of their physical ability. Nursing assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and other healthcare providers should encourage the person to perform restorative and rehabilitation exercises to restore lost physical functioning after a stroke or another illness.
Increasing Emotional Well-Being & Quality of Life
Members of the healthcare team can help increase the quality of life for their patients and residents by helping the person to:
Nursing assistants should also provide the patient or resident with privacy. They should be able to have privacy when they are talking to others on the telephone or in person. They should be able to receive and send their mail privately.
Increasing Spiritual Well-Being & Quality of Life
Some people are religious. Others are not. We should never force our own beliefs on other people but we should make it as easy as possible for our patents and residents to:
Quality of life is a highly important part of the nursing assistant's job. Increasing a person's physical, emotional and spiritual quality of life makes life much happier and healthy. It must be a part of everything we do.
Quality of Life Research in Nursing Science. Quality of Life Compendium. (2010).
Government Centers for Disease Control. (2010). Health Related Quality of Life.
Copyright © 2010 Alene Burke
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