Quality of life could be defined as a measure of an individual wellbeing. In health care quality of life is used to refer to a patient’s wellbeing. It is a measure of the patient’s emotion, physical and social condition. Quality of life may be affected by the physical and emotional surrounding of a patient. It is also a measure of their ability to do their ordinary everyday tasks. Quality of life is important in holistic nursing (Volkman & Marian 2005). Holistic nursing is a type of nursing specialty that emphasizes on the whole wellbeing of a patient. Holistic nursing goes beyond diagnosis of the patient’s disease. It creates a bond between the nurse and the patient. The nurse offers alternative treatments that help the patient to get better.
Quality of life has a varying description from person to person. It is important for a nurse to have a positive perspective towards quality of life and health promotion. It is very important when taking care of a dying patient with a lingering illness such as cancer. This is because the perception that one has affects the way one takes care of their patients. If a patient is well taken care of they have a higher survival rate as opposed to a poorly taken care of patient. The care accorded to patients affects their happiness and general wellbeing. It is also important to have a positive perspective towards quality of life since it affects the patient’s emotional, physical and social condition, this makes it important since holistic nursing it is important to understand a patients emotions and social. (Volkman & Marian, 2005).
Health promotion is also important since dying patient with a lingering illness such as cancer need to be encouraged to practice healthy lifestyles like diets, exercising and avoiding alcohol and smoking. A good perspective toward health promotion is important since it helps in increasing a patient’s quality of life and makes the condition they are suffering from manageable.
Strategies to improve the quality of life for Mrs. Thomas and her husband
Quality of life is very important for a patient like Mrs. Thomas. It is important so as to make her life worth living. Below are three strategies that could be used to improve Mrs. Thomas quality of life.The first and most important strategy in improving the quality of life of Mrs. Thomas is the basic aspect of ‘self’. Mrs. Thomas should be encouraged to first look at her life and appreciate it. By looking and appreciating herself she should be encouraged to look at her personal health, hygiene and nutrition. This will help her with fighting the effects of her cancer. She should also be encouraged to exercise every day. She should not ignore her physical appearance and she should be encouraged to look and feel beautiful daily. This will help in dealing with her condition. She should also be encouraged to exercise her spiritual beliefs.
The strategy involves encouraging her to have sometime in the day for personal reflection and meditation. It’s important for her to be able to spend some time alone and listen to her thoughts. Without personal reflection the other strategies cannot work. Mrs. Thomas should be encouraged to meditate to find out what makes her happy. She should be encouraged to focus on aspects of her life that give her satisfaction for example her husband or children. Being happy is a sure way of improved quality of life. It would be important for Mrs. Thomas to rate events that occur to her and she should repeat those that made her happy. She should be encouraged to do something bold for herself. She should find in herself to do something she has never done or she has always wanted to do. This will increase her satisfaction and ultimately her quality of life.
The second strategy would be finding a place she belongs. This involve having a social life and going outside. It is important for the Mrs. Thomas to have a sense of belonging. This can be given by Mr. Thomas and her children. Her children should be encouraged to visit their mother even though it hurts them to see her in pain. It is important for Mrs. Thomas since it gives her a sense of belonging and satisfaction. It also creates a kind of connection in the family. It is also important for Mr. Thomas to go outside. The fresh air is important in improving her quality of life (Nussbaum, Craven, Amartya & Sen, 1993).
The third strategy is to reduce and eliminate her stress. By eliminating stress it is possible to improve Mrs. Thomas quality of life. The most effective way to eliminate her stress is by encouraging her and her husband to engage themselves in activities that are relaxing. Relaxation is the best key to stress reduction. Relaxation activities maybe like board games, walks, family visits and encouraging conversations. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas should also be encouraged not to have broken thoughts. Broken thoughts are one of the leading sources of stress. By having no broken thoughts stress levels will be reduced and ultimately the quality of life will be increased.
Holistic Nursing Action Plan Appropriate for Managing Mrs. Thomas’s Care At Home
Functional ability in cancer patients is highly affected due to the effects of cancer treatment to their bodies. These effects include: fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and infections. Some of the effects are psychological for example emotional weakness and stress. All this factors lead to reduced functional ability of the patient (Ettinger, 2008).
So as to increase the functional ability of Mrs. Thomas it is important for her to have a proper diet. Mrs. Thomas should lead a life governed by a strict diet which should mainly consist of: whole foods, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy products, and healthy fat. Fruits and
greens should be the most important part of her diet. A proper diet is important so that her body can have enough energy to carry out her day to day duties. Proper diet improves her physical wellbeing and makes her healthy. A strict is also very important so as to avoid other diseases like heart diseases and opportunistic infections. This is because proper diet increases her immunity.
Mrs. Thomas should do daily exercises. She should engage in daily aerobic and cardio therapy exercises. It’s important for her to work out since it boosts her body’s immunity and makes her stronger. Walks around the neighborhood and activities like swimming are also very encouraged. Exercising helps to increase Mrs. Thomas’ body’s metabolism and will also keeps her trim and in good shape despite her illness. This will increase her functional ability.
It is important for Mrs. Thomas to have a loving and supporting husband and family. Her family should take proper care of her by showing her love and affection. This will psychologically makes her feel better, healthier and will increase her functional ability. (Nussbaum M. Craven, Amartya K. Sen. 1993)
Mrs. Thomas should avoid alcohol and tobacco smoking. It is very easy for depressed patients and loved ones to get addicted to alcohol. It is important not to drink alcohol and smoke since it does more bad than good.
Ways to provide care for Mrs. Thomas once self-care is no longer possible
Once self care is no longer possible it’s important to provide care for Mrs. Thomas since she can’t care for herself. Ways of providing care have been discussed below.
Since Mrs. Thomas cannot take care of herself it would be important to help around the house when one can. Helping out may include cleaning the house, clothes and dishes. As discussed above hygiene is important so it would be important to help Mrs. Thomas around.
Since she cannot take care of herself it would be important to keep track of her hospital appointments. It would also be important to accompany her to the hospital visits. One should know all the medications and dosages of the medicine she is taking. It is important to keep track of the patient’s treatment and knowing whether the patient has taken her medicine. It is also good to understand the side effects that come with cancer treatments. As discussed earlier the side effects include nausea, vomiting, pain and fatigue. (Ettinger S. 2008)
One should also keep a journal of Mrs. Thomas’ condition. As discussed earlier Mrs. Thomas should be encouraged to keep a record of things that make her happy and how she is feeling.
Its good practice to keep Mrs. Thomas company. She needs all the emotional support she can get and should never be alone. Emotional support goes a long way. One should be supportive and encouraging. One should tell Mrs. Thomas inspiring stories of cancer survivors. A book on cancer survivors would be good for Mrs. Thomas. When talking to Mrs. Thomas it is important to remind her of the power of prayer and spiritual relief.
So as to care for her a support group made up of close friends and family should be constituted. The group should be concerned with helping Mrs. Thomas during her treatment period. A fund raiser should be organized so as to raise funds for supporting Mrs. Thomas through her treatment.
The management of Mr. Thomas’s chronic depression.
So as to treat and manage Mr. Thomas’s chronic depression it would be important to advice him to see a psychotherapy and to use medication such as antidepressants. Mr. Thomas could also join a support group for people suffering from chronic depression.
The first step towards dealing with Mr. Thomas’s problem would be him going to a doctor and having a correct diagnosis of his problem.
Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that is used to treat and manage chronic depression. It would help Mr. Thomas to cope with his condition. It can be in the form of doctor to patient therapy, group therapy or family therapy.
There is a wide range of medication available for the treatment of chronic depression. Mr. Thomas should have a doctor diagnose his condition and prescribe the medication. The doctor can also prescribe alternative treatment for chronic depression. The doctor might prescribe mood stabilizing drugs.
Mr. Thomas must also have a strict diet; he should exercise more often and should have a social life. It is important to be social so as to be able to manage chronic depression.