Essay on Wellness With Chronic Illness

Essay on Wellness With Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses persist for a long time, often ending in the death of an individual, and most often do not have cures. Chronic diseases present a burden to the body’s immunity, and death arises from complications and opportunistic infections. Wellness in a chronic illness means that an individual is free from disease complications such as pain and opportunistic infections. Wellness interventions enable an individual to choose behaviors that lead to quality life.

Essay on Wellness With Chronic Illness

These interventions include social support, motivation, cognitive support, and effective coping strategies (Domenichiello, & Ramsden, 2019)). Wellness in chronic illness involves normalizing the status, empowering the individual, and making them independent. Individual empowerment includes help with decision-making and patient education. Information is a powerful tool, and all patients should be informed about their disease process, treatments, and side effects and provided with a workable reporting protocol.

Pain in older adults is undesirable as it limits activity, thus interfering with an individual’s daily activity. Physical inactivity and the inability to perform activities of daily living lead to poor quality of life. Pain is also associated with further injuries. Failure to walk or hold items firmly due to pain can lead to undesirable falls. Older adults as Domenichiello and Ramsden (2019) notes, tend to fail to verbalize pain until it is severe, leading to complications and hence challenging to treat. Pain is generally undesirable at any age but presents more significant problems with adults.

In addition, pain affects the emotional well-being of an individual, which negatively affects their quality of life. Delirium, confusion, depression, social isolation, and anxiety are psychological effects of chronic under-treated or untreated pain in older adults. Pain also causes delayed healing and recovery of existing illnesses. Pain stimulates the sympathetic system, which leads to pulmonary complications, which often leads to high mortality. More so, it causes sleep disturbances and sleep-related disorders. It is often difficult to sleep when in severe pain.

Older adults have fewer psychological/ mental health problems compared to other groups. The psychological state of an individual affects their physical well-being. One of the significant changes is memory loss that appears in different forms, from mild to severe, and disabling memory loss (Shilpa, Kalyani, & Manisha, 2018). Older adults also develop an inability to process and recognize faces. The level of dopamine drops which reduces the speed of decision making. However, older adults have a relatively stable emotional well-being unless diseases plague them (Shilpa et al., 2018).

There is a growing desire for social support in older adults primarily because depression and anxiety tend to be common in this age group. The physical and physiological changes that lead to physical limitations can lead to poor mental health. Mental and psychological health is affected by changes in the nervous system. These changes are similar to changes causing changes in cognition and include a shrinking brain, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease. As Shilpa et al. (2018) established, neurological degeneration is notorious for causing psychological changes evident in behaviors such as social withdrawal, aggression, irritability, and apathy.

Aging comes with several changes that affect cognitive functioning. Cumulative damage to the brain that occurs with aging can produce cognitive impairments (Nadeau, 2019). These include degenerative dementias that are a leading cause of the age-related cognitive decline. The decline in performance if cognitive tasks such as fast thinking and decision making and executive cognitive function are severely affected. The structure and function of the brain are associated with the mentioned cognitive changes that include neuronal structure alterations, neuronal death, synapses loss, and neuronal networks dysfunction. Ideally, gradual changes to the brain affect both its psychological and cognitive functioning.                                                                        

Essay on Wellness With Chronic Illness References

  • Domenichiello, A. F., & Ramsden, C. E. (2019). The silent epidemic of chronic pain in older adults. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 93, 284-290.
  • Nadeau, S. E. (2019). Mechanisms of aging-related cognitive decline. Cognitive changes and the aging brain, 226-244.
  • Shilpa, A., Kalyani, S., & Manisha, S. (2018). Ageing process and physiological changes. Gerontology, 1, 25-54. Doi: 10.5772/intechopen.76249.