Health and Social Care

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July 27, 2020

SUPPORTING SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS

Introduction:

Intense life events are something that remains memorable throughout the life of an individual and sometimes change the way of experiencing the future life events. It may change the way of living of a person or may drag a person into a trauma. Important life events may be a specific incident in a person’s life but it may be affected or triggered by some external factors. In this case, the social and professional environment of the individual was affected by life events. On the other hand, these events affect the lifestyle of other people around the individual. This essay is aimed to discuss the impact of considerably important life events and other related factors based on the given case study.

1.1 Analysing significant life events

Life of an individual is a cluster of different events and incidents. Some of those events are general everyday incidents that are not taken under consideration but in some cases, some events affect the lifestyle of that individual significantly. If the event is good for the individual it remains in the mind as a ‘sweet memory’ but if that event is not so pleasant it may become a trauma for the individual for rest of the life (as influenced by Sheerin et al. 2018, p.140). Those events that affect the present and future lifestyle of a person are stated as significant life events. The case study shows that the death of the 10-year-old daughter had been changed in the life of Tom and Sue drastically. This death is a significant life event for Tom and Sue. As opined by Currier (2018), individuals suffer through and pain in their lives after losing their loved ones. It affects the daily living capacity of the people along with damaging their working ability too. In some cases, the trauma and pain drag those individuals in mental illness.

Figure 1: Impact of significant life events on human life (Source: as influenced by Taylor and Gotham, 2016, p.28)

Taylor and Gotham (2016, p.28) stated that significant life events may affect an individual both mentally and physically. In some cases, the physical condition of an individual may deteriorate after some harsh incidents in their life. If an individual loses their loved ones, then they feel their rest of the life to be worthless and do not take care of health. Gradually they feel weak and do not feel likeable to work. Apart from that, it affects the mental condition of people too. Sue has been stated to become overprotective for their son David after the death of Jill. The social and occupational life of the individuals may be affected too. Sue has quit her job for her daughter’s illness. She is not as active as previous in her everyday works (as influenced by Guan et al. 2017, p.28).

1.2 Responses of the group towards significant life events

Taylor and Gotham (2016, p.164) stated that an individual gets different responses from their families and friends after experiencing bereavement. It is natural for people around an individual to show their concern after any bad incidents. Apart from that, society members also show their concern too. After that incident of bereavement, a nurse who was in charge of Jill was in trauma for some days as she did not come to work. Apart from that, Tom and Sue got support from Shaping the Bereavement, and the Bereavement Partner Support Group in order to take them away from the trauma. This organization is aimed to provide mental support to those who are going through bereavement. Other people around the individuals show their concern toward the

individual and response as per their feelings over the incidents (as influenced by Woodhead, Northrop and Edelstein, 2016, p.84). In the case of such organizations, they involve the individuals in different activities to make recover from those emotional states. Sometimes they involve other family members in different activities for improvement of mental conditions of individuals.

Family members and other close friends of individuals may contact them through social media and communicate with them to drag them out of the situation. It is important to provide mental support to individuals for increasing their self-confidence (as influenced by Consiglio et al. 2016, p.125). In this aspect, it can be mentioned that the support group was able to provide metal support to Tom and Sue. Tom was recovering soon and got out of the trauma but it was not as effective for Sue as she was not returning to a normal lifestyle. Attending professional counselling helped her much to come out of that trauma and gradually she was recovering. In this case, Tom had to play a major role to bring his wife back in normal life.

 

1.3 Impact of significant life events on health and social care of others

Not only the individuals who are experiencing bereavement but the other people involved in the incident are affected by these life events. It was observed that, in case of death of any patients, along with family members of that patient, health care staffs and physicians are also affected by the death (as influenced by Burden et al. 2016, p.9). They may feel their service to be worthless

and may blame themselves for the death of that person. In this case, after the death of Jill, the nurse who was in charge of that little girl was broken and did not come to work for some days. It was observed that in the case of deaths of minors the people who are surrounded are affected worst. In this case, Sue was under deep trauma after the death of her daughter and shed share her issues to support group and the professional counsellor as she was being overprotective to her son which was affecting David too. As Tom was recovered from the trauma, he was working as a supporting system for Sue and was trying to bring her back in normal life. He was motivating her to join to her work. Apart from that, in this case, the line manager of Sue was supportive of her too. In order to help Sue to come out of that incident, the professional counsellor helped her in all ways. He listened to the issues carefully and provided mental support to Sue. After a session of 6 months, the condition of Sue was mostly under control.

2.1 Impact of organizational procedures and policies on life events

In such a situation of bereavement the organization in which individual works, can play an important role. As a person spends most of the time of his day in his respective workplace, the environment of the workplace, the colleagues and HR department of that organization can influence that person. In such a situation, people need more mental support. If the working environment is not so supportive for an individual he may not feel comfortable working thereafter any adverse life event. In that state of mind, people become more sensitive and support from co-workers may help them to recover. As opined by Noe et al. (2017), organizational procedures and policies that have been made by that firm may leave an effective impact on the mind of people who are suffering from any significant life events.

The HR department of an organization should look after their employees’ physical and mental condition and should set their policies in a way that can provide support to that individual to go ahead. The things that a sensitive organization may include in their policies to provide support to their employees in different significant life events are providing care and support before the occurrence of any accidents. Issuing medical certification of any life events may compensate that individual. The leave policy of the organization should be flexible. In the case of a big organization, staffs are provided with medical support for them and their families (as influenced by Consiglio et al. 2016, p.126).

 

Figure 2: Organizational excellence for employee support (Source: as influenced by Mayo et al. 2017, p.55)

In the case of Sue, her organization was quite supportive for from determination of her daughter’s illness. She was allowed to take leave for 4 weeks without pay and her line manager promised her to offer her flexible working hour after joining so that she can spend more time with her daughter. This was a good gesture from an organization and their policy was good for a part-time staff but Sue was not mentally prepared to go for work in that condition of her daughter and she wanted to be with her daughter all the time.

2.2 Impact of social networks on life events of an individual

Social networks such as community people, peers, colleagues, and NGO people are essential for providing support to the persons who are in urgent need and facing serious life events. In the case study, it has been reflected that both Tom and Sue have received bereavement care from the hospital as well as from the bereavement organisations in their city (Feeney and Collins, 2015, p.140). Furthermore, office colleagues of Sue were found to be helpful in this regard, as they have shown to be flexible with the working hours of Sue as per her own schedule with Jim. There can be various factors that can affect a person because of a serious life event like the death of a person or some chronic and severe disease of a peer. In this case, Jim had been affected one with Leukaemia; which had affected the lifestyle and wellbeing of the entire family. Areas in which social networks can give support are as follows.

Firstly, support can be given in the area of physical well being of the affected individuals. Here, fitness, illness or disease conditions and mental stresses can be assessed by supporting organisations and the community care nurses to check the current condition. Based on this, several treatment approaches can be taken in this area to support the person with physical fitness. Secondly, a sense of social well being can be perceived through the extensive involvement of relatives, Colleagues and other community people for filling the pro-social gaps and loneliness period with support. Meaningful conversations and motivational talks with involvement related participation in various social events can be achieved through these social groups (Mountbatten.org.uk, 2019). Tom and Sue had received these supports from the bereavement support organisations in their locality.

Third, psychological well being can be developed through interactions with other people in the society along with social and professional counsellors in that society; who will help in the bereavement process in a positive way (Acas.org.uk, 2019). This process is helpful for the affected persons to remove negative and suicidal thoughts followed by strong tug-of-war battles with the past constraints of life; and will help with positive energy, self-reliance and self-caring attitude to get back into life. Skill training, yoga, aerobics classes, meditation and other less harming medications are found to be helpful in this regard. Sue, in this case, had received such support from the professional counsellor to get back in her daily life.

2.3 Analysing the impact on significant life events by the external factors

External sources indicate the involvement of various other organisations and NGO groups

that aim to help people to get back in their own rhythm after a devastating experience in past life trauma. Especially, hospice care units and bereavement care and support units of the hospitals are involved in providing support to the needy people (Doull et al. 2017, p.5). Mainly, this support system is involved with providing overall well being and mental satisfaction of the affected people about their views in their life. Significant life events like the death of peers, sudden accidents and sudden chronic life-threatening events of the family members are found to affect the family people in a negative way. Thus, like Tom and Sue, people also need enough time to regain their energies and thoughts to cope up with life. Thus, it can be said that support from the external sources, in this case, is significantly helpful for the persons to be settled back further (Mayo et al. 2017, p.55).

Several physiotherapies approach like ultrasound therapies, needle therapy is helpful for the mitigation of pain in response to mental agony. On the other hand, meditation and yoga therapies have been found to reflect a significant result on the affected persons in this coping period. Since, the main manifestation of adverse life event is reflected through panic, anxiety, stress and depression; thus, it has also been seen that people get well soon with the help of music therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and personal counselling sessions (Doull et al. 2017, p.5). In contrast to that, building strong dependency and trust over counsellors, caregivers and community nurses are found to be helpful for the affected persons like Sue to get recovered from her area of panic anxiety, self-destruction and over-protectiveness towards David.

3.1 Organisational responses in an individual’s life events

According to the management ethics practice, every organisation should follow the principle of conservation of current resources; so that every resource like people, materials, and machines can be maintained in their original functioning state of behaviour (Hobfoll et al. 2018, p.105). Apart from that, the international policies and legislation regarding the protection of employees and employment act and employee rights have stated the areas of support that would be given to the employees who are in need. In the UK, it has been seen that the government is especially focused in this regard to retaining its human workforce with proper support. In this case, Sue has not been received payments for the 4 weeks that she had taken leave in her crucial time; through, she had gotten the opportunity to work in flexible shifts (Shamir and Eilam-Shamir, 2018, p.70). As death and life sorrows are part and parcel of life; thus, the organisation should be flexible to the employees for maintaining their self; and to support themselves with proper financial support, physical and mental health and care.

Thus, in terms to preserve and support employees, organisations should adhere with the following responses. Firstly, management should provide a strong team backup for the affected employee to handle work pressure and personal agony at a time. Secondly, a flexible schedule would be provided to the individual for supporting care and loving attitude towards the bereavement scenario (Consiglio et al. 2016, p.126). Sue had been offered with this option in this regard. Third, proper advice and motivation on the job as well as in personal management should be given for coping up with stress. Fourth, the organisation should follow up the employee in terms of physical and mental health status and have to report in the employee health and safety section for further concerns. Lastly, a proper financial backup should be given to encourage and motivate them to get back into work.

3.2 Reflection of personal contribution

Birth, illness, suffering and death- are part of our lives that are tightly associated with human’s life cycle events. I have seen that, from the parents’ aspect; it is hard to accept the bereavement of their own child in front of them; while they are still alive. Young people can control their emotions logically in some other ways within time, but for the older people; it is tough to cope up with life struggles. This time, several illnesses, pain-related constraints, physical accidents

have been observed by me that totally confuse the affected ones to return in their daily life (as influenced by Acas.org.uk, 2019). Thus, I think, it would be a priority for us to support such people with resources and social support so that; they can get back into life.

I think support should vary as per the needs of those people in that current scenario. First, sympathy should not be shown by words; rather, sympathy can be reflected through actions performed by supporting phases. Providing proper care and emotional support is essential in this time to build a platform of trust and dependence. On the other hand, I think, proper assistance in performing daily activities is important to give proper support. Consolation should be done through motivating words and thoughts so that the person can overcome grieves and sorrows that have achieved through past mishaps. Creating considerations for replenishing anxiousness and depressive mood should be a major concern for this assistance phase; which will help the person to overcome social and personal abundance.

3.3 Recommendations for improving services

Various healthcare and social organisations are needed to adopt a specific pattern of connection and treatment plan; so that, they can help people who are in need with a timely and effective manner. At first, organizations should be integrative in their handling pattern while making some agreements with tertiary care hospitals and hospice care units; where they can meet the affected peers more often than finding them in the entire locality (Consiglio et al. 2016, p.125). Then, the organisation should maintain overall care for the individuals for example; they can evaluate the person’s condition (physically and mentally) and then can plan for the supporting plan. Next, quality care should be given to the needy people according to their needs and choices; while keeping in mind about their self-belief and autonomy; for example, assisting in relocation and travel purposes as per their own choices (Currier, 2018).

Next, adherence with the rules of public rights protection acts should be done. Nursing homes and community care centres would be involved in this process; to provide support to the people by caring for them with spiritual and psychological support (Noe et al. 2017). Residential care plan would be incorporated here. Constant contact would be kept through phone calls, emails and chats for supporting them mentally. Lastly, emergency contact numbers would be provided from support organisations for emergency needs.

Conclusion

Losing a loved one may be one of the harshest events in the life of an individual. In such a situation it is natural for that person to be emotional, sad, stressed, traumatized or mourn. Deaths of little children are more adverse than other events. One incident may able to damage present and future life events on an individual. It affects the parents along with other family members, friends and people involved in the health care system. Therefore, it is important to provide support to the family. Proper support and medication may be effective for individuals to come out of that trauma. Friends and family members play key roles in such condition. Proper mental support and proper counselling may able to bring that person in normal life.

References

Books

Currier, J., 2018. Connect the Dots: How Significant Life Events Impact Your Life, Leadership

Style and Competitive Performance. Victoria, Canada: FriesenPress.

Noe, R.A., Hollenbeck, J.R., Gerhart, B. and Wright, P.M., 2017. Human resource management:

Gaining a competitive advantage. New York, US: McGraw-Hill Education.

Journals

Burden, C., Bradley, S., Storey, C., Ellis, A., Heazell, A.E., Downe, S., Cacciatore, J. and Siassakos, D., 2016. From grief, guilt pain and stigma to hope and pride–a systematic review and meta-analysis of mixed-method research of the psychosocial impact of stillbirth. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 16(1), p.9.

Consiglio, C., Borgogni, L., Di Tecco, C. and Schaufeli, W.B., 2016. What makes employees engaged with their work? The role of self-efficacy and employee’s perceptions of social context over time. Career development international, 21(2), pp.125-143.

Feeney, B.C. and Collins, N.L., 2015. A new look at social support: A theoretical perspective on thriving through relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 19(2), pp.113-147. Guan, K., Levy, M.C., Kim, R.E., Brown, T.E., Reding, M.E., Rith-Najarian, L., Sun, M., Lau, A.S. and Chorpita, B.F., 2017. Managing in-session “surprises:” Provider responses to emergent life events during evidence-based treatment implementation. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 44(2), pp.164-176.

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Taylor, J.L. and Gotham, K.O., 2016. Cumulative life events, traumatic experiences, and psychiatric symptomatology in transition-aged youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 8(1), p.28.

Woodhead, E.L., Northrop, L. and Edelstein, B., 2016. Stress, social support, and burnout among long-term care nursing staff. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35(1), pp.84-105.

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Camara, M., Bacigalupe, G. and Padilla, P., 2017. The role of social support in adolescents: are you helping me or stressing me out?. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 22(2), pp.123-136. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02673843.2013.875480 [Accessed on 24th June 2019]

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481508/ [Accessed on 23rd June 2019]

Mayo, D., Corey, S., Kelly, L.H., Yohannes, S., Youngquist, A.L., Stuart, B.K., Niendam, T.A.

and Loewy, R.L., 2017. The role of trauma and stressful life events among individuals at clinical

high risk for psychosis: a review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 8, p.55. Available at:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00055 [Accessed on 25th June 2019]

Shanafelt, T.D. and Noseworthy, J.H., 2017, January. Executive leadership and physician well-

being: nine organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout. In Mayo Clinic

Proceedings (Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 129-146). Elsevier. Available at: https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)30625-5/fulltext [Accessed on 23rd June 2019]

Websites

Acas.org.uk (2019). Good practice at work. Available at: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4664. [Accessed on 26th June 2019] Mountbatten.org.uk (2019). Psychology and Bereavement Service. Available at: https://www.mountbatten.org.uk/psychology-and-bereavement-service. [Accessed on 27th June 2019]