Quality of life can be approached from multiple angles. For instance, a comparison can be made across quality of life dimensions for different countries. Other studies look at how individuals experience quality of life. Some dimensions may overlap to some degree, such as having meaningful work (an individual) and employment levels (a country).
We focus on the quality of life of the elderly. This is an important category because it allows us to compare this group in different settings, such as living at home or with loved ones versus assisted living or skilled nursing in a facility. Understanding the elderly person’s perspectives on quality of life can help organizations improve the standards of care they offer to include measures such as autonomy and reciprocal relationships.
When elderly people perceive that they are in relatively good health compared to others, they feel that they still have a health-related quality of life. On the other hand, being burdened by chronic illness and constant pain reduced the perception of them having a quality of life. Pain and symptom management can improve how health is viewed. Assisted living facilities that offer skilled nursing services as well should assess how they deal with pain to enhance the quality of life.
Mobility is also an important factor. Having a limb replacement, for example, can provide a person who was previously dependent on nursing staff with greater independence and self-sufficiency. Health issues cut across all dimensions of quality of life for senior citizens as it frequently impacts their ability to enjoy life.
Retaining their full faculties (mind, eyesight, hearing, ability to walk, etc.) is associated with a high quality of life in older people and is one of the key qualities mentioned. As shown above, it is interlinked with the quality of health that a senior experiences.
Employees at McKnight Place assisted living Glendale, for example, provide assisted living residents with choices as well as dignified assistance with the Activities of Daily Living. Residents in assisted living facilities can choose the accommodation best suited to their needs and means and be able to participate in activities they enjoy. Independence is balanced with appropriate care.
Autonomy relates to being independent, having dignity, having freedom of choice, and not being seen as a burden. Thus, it extends the health and relationship dimensions. Seniors want their family members to visit them because they care about them and not out of a sense of duty or guilt for placing them in a facility.
Quality of life includes mutually rewarding relationships with family members, friends, peers, and carers. People of all ages value social interactions. However, seniors do not want one-way relationships. They want their families to relate by sharing their hardships and accomplishments, while also needing to be heard for their experiences.
Activity and Meaning
Seniors want to be meaningfully engaged. They should never feel that their lives came to an abrupt halt when they entered a care facility. Carers can take an interest in the life stories of even patients who are bedridden and allow them to relive the highlights of their lives.
As far as a senior can participate in activities, they should be encouraged to do so. A broad spectrum of activities is needed. This allows seniors to showcase their skills in art, music, needlepoint, gardening, etc.
Perhaps the best definition of quality of life is that a person matters in every aspect of his/her being.