3.4.6 Recognizing Needs to Increase Quality of Life

As a front-line worker with your client, each day you have the opportunity to observe their emotions and their likes.  This will create an opportunity for you to advocate for your client’s emotional wellbeing. As you grow confident in your practice and forge relationships with your clients, you should seek to expand your skills beyond applying checklists and passing along information—you should analyze this information and try to think of ideas to support your client’s quality of life.

Consider the following ways that you can look for quality of life enhancements:

  • Can their pain/discomfort be reduced?
  • Are they happy with their medical care? If not, what might make them happier?
  • Are they anxious, worried or stressed? If so, why? Can these feelings be relieved?
  • Are they able to engage in activities they enjoy? If not, what would make that more likely?
  • Do they engage in social activities? Do they have a friend network?
  • Are there options to connect with loved ones? Is their intimate partner able to spend caring time with them?
  • Is there something which can be done to their room to make them more at ease?
  • Do they enjoy the caregivers who are assigned to them?

When caring for a client, go beyond what is written to see the client as an individual. Listen to how they feel physically and socially, what they like, what they care about, and what makes them smile.  Look for ways to increase their enjoyment of life.

Read about a physician’s thoughts on Quality of Life in Older People for more.

When a care provider is paying close attention to their client and actively looking for ways to improve their health and their quality of life, the client benefits immeasurably. Not to be forgotten is the positive impact to your relationship with your client when you prove that you are looking out for the client’s best interests at every opportunity. A client who trusts you will then communicate more readily and provide you with the information you need to do your job capably.

Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to “stretch your muscles” in this area is to practice. Try looking for ways to increase the quality of life of others in your life.

To begin, recall someone you have known or worked with. Think of how they seemed to feel about their daily life.

Now, think about one part of their day.  What could have been done to make that one part of their day more meaningful to them? How would you go about making that happen for them?


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Personal Care Assistant Copyright © by Jacquelyn McKnight is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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