Personal Reflection on Chronic Illness

Personal Reflection on Chronic Illness

What wellness within chronic illness means to you

My personal view on wellness within chronic illness is that it is a state where a patient receives the best care available to manage the chronic condition, that which allows him/her to live in minimal pain.  Wellness entails receiving the necessary healthcare, social, and spiritual support needed to improve the comfort of the patient (University of Pittsburgh, 2015). It is a state where the patient is able to continue with their day to day life and where family and friends accommodate the patient’s needs. It involves embracing a flexible and positive attitude and approach to life, while recognizing the health issues they face.  

The consequences of pain in the older adult

When pain is poorly relieved, it can impair the functioning of older adults. It can manifest itself in decreased socialization, reduced mobility, slow rehabilitation, sleep disturbance, and increased healthcare utilization and cost.  Older adults who experience pain may seclude themselves, and this worsens their mental state. It may lead to symptoms such as cognitive impairment and depression. Research has also linked chronic pain in adults with a poor quality of life using tools such as Quality of Life Scale, Sickness Impact profile and Geriatric Depression Scale (Reid et al. 2015). 

The age-related changes that affect psychological and cognitive functioning

According to Murman (2015), age impacts psychological and cognitive processes such as memory, attention, language, executive cognitive function, and visuospatial abilities. These changes are associated with the changes in the brain, since brain matter decreases in volume and some parts develop atrophy as one ages, and these affect psychological and cognitive processes. Moreover, the processing speed and sensory perception declines with age. For instance, over 70% of older people above the age of 80 experience significant hearing loss (Murman, 2015).  In addition, executive cognitive functioning such as problem solving, decision making, multitasking, and planning and sequencing events, also decline in older adults. 

References

Murman D. L. (2015). “The Impact of Age on Cognition”. Seminars in Hearing, 36(3), 111-

21. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906299/

Reid, M. C., Eccleston, C., & Pillemer, K. (2015). “Management of chronic pain in older 

adults”. BMJ, 350, h532. doi:10.1136/bmj.h532. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707527/

University of Pittsburgh. (2015). Addressing the Health Needs of an Aging America: new 

Opportunities for Evidence-Based Policy Solutions. Health policy Institute. 

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