Introduction to Supporting Significant Life Events
People experience a large variety of events in their life which indicates that which it is imperative that, they must be provided with necessary support to deal with the same and also be able to overcome it (Keesler, 2014). The main purpose of conducting this research study on the given topic is to gain a thorough understanding of how individuals dealing with such life events can be supported as they can affect their overall lives. The report also includes a discussion about different roles and responsibilities to make sure that services provided to such people are based on their individual needs as well as wants. In addition to this, current research study will also include a discussion on different manners in which health and social care services can contribute to maintaining self-image and dignity of such individuals.
1) Impact of significant life event on service user(s)
Life events can have either positive or negative impact over the lifestyle of an individual (Graves, 2009). The events can be in any form which can have an impact over the life of a concerned individual and also on other people around him/her. These can be the changes which moves individual’s life one step forward. In this context, it will not be wrong to say that it is crucial for such people that they may be able to identify the impact of such events, because these have the capability to affect their lives in a very significant manner. Impact of these kind of events can be classifying into three categories – psychological, physical and social. There can be various kinds of events that yield prominent impact over the life of an individual (Rickerson and et. al, 2005). For instance, events such as pregnancy is a situation that is both joyous as well as painful in nature. Due to this reason, it can be said that the concerned female should be given proper support, so that she can joyfully experience the feeling of giving birth to her child while being in the pain throughout the pregnancy time.
In this regard, physical pain that the female has to bear is extensive and often has a significant impact over their lifestyle. These kind of events provides a different experience to women in terms of emotionally, physically and so on. During pregnancy, women suffers from so intense pain that they face physical as well as mental impact for example hormonal mood swings (Harrison and Vannest, 2008). It is imperative for people surrounding the female that they provide her extensive comfort, so that the pain can be bear easily. For instance, during pregnancy a woman suffers from aches in abdomen, back and other such parts of the body that are involved in directly holding the baby. Another kind of physical pain that pregnant women experience is fatigue and sleeping problems. It is a very common problem among such women, as they feel exhausted in the first trimester itself. Eventually, this tiredness translates into sleeping problems (Moss, 2012).
Similarly, there is also a significant impact on the mental health of women. Since, body of females undergoes substantial hormonal changes; it is normal for them to become irritable, depressed, moody, etc. indicating changes in functioning of the brain (Bulmash, 2007). Reason behind stress can be a pregnant woman may find themselves more concerned with their housing, finance, future, employment and medical care which may raise excessive stress on them. In this sense, it can be said that, pregnancy affects the mental status of a pregnant women, as she would have to experience significant changes in her thinking styles and other such brain related functions. Emotional disturbances are very common during pregnancy; women get emotional during the same period with themselves as well as the child whom she would be soon give birth. Furthermore, there could be several external and internal factors which may cause an increase in emotional state of pregnant lady. Because of such changes in women's mental condition, sometimes it becomes very difficult to manage them, as they may become demanding, depressed and in some instances even suffer from anxiety (Greenleaf and Williams, 2009). So, it is important for family members to make them joyful remind them positive moments and make them stressed out from any stressed condition. Through this analysis, it can be said that significant life event such as pregnancy prominently affects the service user(s), i.e. the pregnant women, as she has to bear both physical and psychological effects of the same.
2) Possible responses of friends and family to support significant life event
To face significant life events, it is important that the concerned individual gets support and necessary help or aid from their friends and family members. These people play a crucial role in helping the concerned individual to undergo such life event with ease and comfort. Their support would be critical in facing these situations and overcoming the same (Aslib Social Sciences Group, 2005). A pregnant woman needs extensive support from her family as well as friends, as she is required to take enough rest and also carry out her daily routine activities whilst ensuring that the baby does not get hurt in any manner; and that it is delivered safely and on the right time.
On the other hand, it is required for a pregnant woman to be aware about their body and its requirement as well as provide a proper care to themselves accordingly. Furthermore, it is needed that a supportive and encouraging group of people should be surrounding with pregnant lady so that they can create a positive environment for her. These kind of practices will help to make her stressed out and emotionally healthy during her tough pregnancy duration.
In this context, it may not be wrong to say that some of the most important individuals who provide extensive support and aid to pregnant women are her family members. They are the most important part of this whole process (Orpin and et. al, 2014). But sometimes, their response or attitude towards pregnant women may turn out to be negative, due to her tantrums and unpredictable mood swings. In most of the cases, it is these family members her husband or parents who would be very happy and excited. In such cases, they would extend any and every kind of support to the women to ensure that delivery of the child happens successfully; and that both mother and child are safe during pregnancy as well as while giving birth.
Similarly, friends also provide good support to pregnant women as they also wish that, the future mother as well as the child she would give birth remain healthy and safe. There are chances that the family members would hire nurse(s) at their home, to care for the women and safeguard her from any harm or injury (Pollitt, Rose and Kaufman, 2005). On the other hand, there are chances that family members or the friends may become highly stressed because they would be handling pregnant woman while trying to keep her happy, safe and free from all kinds of pressures. Due to this very reason, there are chances that these supporting people may become stressed and irritable.
But in normal cases, their response to pregnancy would be positive only, as they would show signs of excitement and great zeal. Additionally, they would also take huge steps so as to ensure that, the pregnant woman is safe, happy and healthy as well (Bale, 2010). Therefore, it may not be wrong to say that, responses of friends and family members towards pregnancy could be mixed, with major proportion of the same belonging to positive responses from these support groups, as they would take the life event in a very good attitude and consider it to be a very good omen.
3) Impact of significant life event on care workers and professionals
Significant life events, such as pregnancy in this case not only influences the care users, but then it also affects those individuals who provide necessary health care services to such individuals, i.e. the pregnant women (Lambie and Milsom, 2010). Thus it may not be wrong to say that, significant life events actually have a very prominent influence over health care practitioners and workers providing appropriate care to the patient(s). It is because of this very reason, it is crucial to understand how these care workers are affected due to the event of pregnancy. It has been observed on many occasions that, apart from friends and family members, care workers and health practitioners get attached to the patient are significantly affected by the event.
It can be supported through the fact that, in cases of pregnancy, it has been observed that nurses, doctors, etc. sometimes develop personal relations with the patient and get emotionally attached to them (Schwarzer, Schulz and Berlin, 2001). Because of this reason they are also influenced by the result of pregnancy. In such scenario, since a healthy child is born, health care practitioners also feel very happy and excited. Therefore, it may not be wrong to say that this emotional attachment is the reason that explains why health care workers are affected by the life event. On the other hand to it, if the child born is not healthy or the mother faces some complications during pregnancy or while delivery, then there are chances that nurses and other care providers may get negatively affected by the same. In this sense, because of getting emotionally attached with the care users, nurses and doctors get affected from the given life event (Glasby, 2012).
In addition to it, due to the emotional attachment, there are chances that care workers or health care practitioners may take biased decisions. Such a situation can be very good from view point of the patient, but then it can prove to be very harmful and dangerous for career of the concerned person working in health care industry (Ayres and Roy, 2009). Herein, it can be said that, there are major chances that care givers and professionals may get negatively influenced due to significant life event being experienced by a pregnant women.
Further, since it is the job of these care workers and health care practitioners to ensure good health and safety of the pregnant women as well as the child, if they are harmed or injured in any way, then it can have a negative impact over their own record as well. This means that, if delivery of a child goes wrong, then it is the doctor who would be blamed first for the same, which then would put a dent on his own reputation as a care worker (Lloyd and Cameron, 2005). This then would have a substantial negative impact on their career and put it into a state of jeopardy.
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4) Support available to people with specific needs
For health care bodies and professionals, it is imperative that they provide effective services to care users so that, their disease can be resolved to a great extent and also their life can be made simpler and easier. In present scenario it has been observed that a patient with Alzheimer and early symptoms of dementia has been admitted in the care home (Amital and et. al, 2006). Alzheimer's is a chronic neuro-degenerative disease which with time gets severe. One of the most common symptom of this disease is short term memory loss; problems with language; disorientation; memory swings, etc. It is very important that people who are diagnosed with such symptoms receive medical treatment for the same at the earliest; or else it could become worse. For the same, over the years, many medical bodies and personnel have come together to develop different groups and systems that work to treat and handle patients with dementia. One of them is Alzheimer's Association (Hareven, 2013). Main goal of this group is to maintain quality of life of such individuals, mainly because of reason yet no solution has been found out for the disease. Another major responsibility of this group is to improve cognition of Alzheimer's patients, along with controlling their mood swings and behaviour in general.
Other than such associations, families of such individuals also have a significant role to play in the process of caring for a patient suffering from Alzheimer's. Families here in have to ensure that such individuals are treated fairly and equally, whilst they are provided with appropriate care services (Nolan, 2005). In this regard, it may not be wrong to say that family members of such individuals have to ensure that they are given medicines in prescribed quantity and at the right time to increase its effectiveness. Similarly, different health and social care organizations also have a central role in the process of treating an Alzheimer's patient.
There are many hospitals in the country such as NHS, which treat individuals suffering Alzheimer's. It is important that their behaviour and responses while providing care to such individuals is taken into consideration. Since no effective treatment and solution for treating patients with Alzheimer's, it is imperative for different health care bodies which provide care services for such individuals that they identify and understand their roles and responsibilities regarding the same (Faulkner and Nicholls, 2001). Different government bodies in this regard have made different guidelines and principles through which direction is provided to health care bodies on effective ways through which Alzheimer's patients can be treated. In this sense it can be said that there are positive chances that the health care institute in the country would treat such patients in a proper manner, which essentially would help in resolving their health related issue with ease and comfort (Lukinova, Myagkov and Shishkin, 2014).
5) Strengths and weaknesses of NHS in supporting individuals with specific needs
For health care organizations such as NHS, it is imperative that different policies and procedures are developed and put in place so that individuals with significant life events, Alzheimer's in this case can be treated properly. In absence of such guidelines, there are very less chances for NHS, a health care organization based in UK to operate efficiently and effectively (Ross, 2003). But for management of the cited body, it would be imperative that a thorough analysis is made into identifying strengths and weaknesses of organizational policies to treat Alzheimer's patients and help them to lead a normal as well as comfortable life.
Authorities at NHS have developed a three pronged treatment fort handling patients with the given disease, mainly because of reason that still no permanent cure has been determined for it. These three stages are: pharmaceutical, psychosocial and care giving. In the first level of the treatment, Alzheimer's patients are provided five different kinds of medicines which have been developed with a view to control the disease and make it move slowly through the body (Muldoon and Miller, 2005). Next psychosocial intervention techniques are also used by the organization different methods are used to stimulate different parts of brain of the patient so as to get control over the illness and try to ensure that it does not yield more negative effects over the concerned individual. In the last stage, only normal care is given to the patients (Brown and Moore, 2010). Here no medicine or any medical intervention is used, rather these individuals are only provided normal routine care, so that quality of life can be maintained, along with attempting to control their mood swings and behaviour in general.
Major strengths of this method is that tries to treat patients with Alzheimer's on three different levels, which enables the given health care organization to strictly monitor activities and progress of people suffering from this disease. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that this three pronged approach to treating patients with Alzheimer's can prove to be very effective and useful, mainly because of reason that it would allow health care practitioners at NHS to provide proper treatment to such patients (Madge, 2011). But on the other hand, a major weakness of this system is that there is no guarantee that this method may prove to be useful in treating the patient. It is primarily because of reason that till now no perfect cure or treatment has been developed to treat individuals with Alzheimer's, due to which there is no appropriate method through which such people with significant life events can be treated or cured.
Furthermore, the given procedure of treating individuals with Alzheimer's can be termed to be very strong in terms that management at NHS pay a lot of attention to ensuring that data or information about such individuals is not leaked to any third party or unauthorized individuals (Hobel, Goldstein and Barrett, 2008). This forms the basis on which given procedure can be termed to be very strong and highly effective as well. But on the other hand it lacks in terms that there are no specialist services available to treat the same. Because of this very reason, there are chances that Alzheimer's patients may not be provided with the best treatment or cure to help overcome the given illness (Guilarte, 2007).
6) External sources of support for dementia
Dementia is another very prominent brain related disease which negatively affects the ability of an individual to think and remember their daily routine functions. Today, it is one of the common brain related illnesses prevalent in the society. Many experts of health and social care industry consider it as one of the major brain diseases in the world. Some of the common symptoms of the disease are emotional problems, sharp decline in motivation levels, problems with language, etc. (Ferrans, 2005). Over the years, many external bodies and organizations have been established with a view to help cure the issue of dementia and eventually control and eradicate it. One of them is Alzheimer Europe. Many consider it to one of the prime bodies that provide services in treating and curing the problem of dementia with ease and comfort (Graham, 2011). Main objective of this organization is to generate awareness among people about all kinds of dementia and also create a common Europe based platform through which services to cure the disease can be provided along with developing co-operation among all bodies throughout Europe working towards solving the problem of dementia.
For purpose of resolving the illness of dementia, using this body can prove to be very useful to health care organizations such as NHS, largely because of reason that it would provide management with access to spreading awareness about the issue not just in UK, but all around the Europe (Lambie and Milsom, 2010). It is expected that in near future number of people affected by the disease would increase by manifolds, due to which, it is crucial that different health care organizations across the continent have access to abundant amount of information related to it and the way through which these can be resolved. Alzheimer Europe's prime objective is to connect with all those individuals and bodies working in the field of curing dementia and Alzheimer's such as day care centres, training centres, etc. with information that may help in resolving the issue with great efficiency and effectiveness (Ross, 2003).
Another organization functioning in the same region of health and social care is an online website - AT Dementia, was developed with a view to provide information resources on assistive technologies that can be used by those people who are suffering from dementia and health care professionals treating the same. There are some major objectives, keeping in mind which AT Dementia was established. One of them was to raise awareness about assistive technologies that can be used so as to treat people suffering from the given disease and provide them with much greater control over their lives (Ayres and Roy, 2009).
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For people and different health and social care bodies, it is imperative that they support people suffering from or undergoing significant life events, because it is the only way they can overcome the same. During the study, it was observed that when a women gets pregnant, she suffers from intense physical and psychological pain and effects, due to which her mentality also changes significantly. Further current research also revealed that friends, family members, etc. all have a very crucial role to play in supporting a pregnant women and making this duration enjoyable and memorable for her rather than a painful memory.
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