Residents of Dubuque and elsewhere can take steps to reduce their risk for certain health conditions, such as regular exercise, eating well and possibly discussing palliative care options with their health providers. But at the same time, some medical conditions also are out of their control, often due to genetics, internal biology or the people around them who may be exposed to something contagious.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice know that there’s no reason why some people get certain diseases compared to others, especially those with similar age and lifestyles. This can be frustrating and frightening, especially since we often meet people right after they have been diagnosed that could potentially change their lives.
At the same time, while there are health conditions that are out of their control, what they can control is how they respond to being diagnosed. Do they give up? Do they only look at the worst-case and expect it to happen to them? Or do they try to find the positive? Do they treasure any time spent with loved ones especially if their long-term future appears uncertain?
Often, it’s this adaptability that makes a difference in how people deal with health news, whether it’s good, bad or in between. The “right” attitude is different for everyone and there’s really no right or wrong way to approach the situation.
But those who are open to whatever is ahead and try to find moments of happiness wherever they can even while others find it more difficult to be cheery and find bright spots. Sometimes the same person may have these same emotional ranges depending on the day and present circumstances.
Likewise, while there’s nothing wrong with feeling bad, scared or anxious when dealing with health issues, these feelings can sometimes evolve into depression which is something that can affect someone’s health like reducing the immune system and making it easier to get sick.
Celebrate good health
This month is a perfect opportunity to learn more about ways to take charge of your personal heath at the same time you’re providing appreciation for those who work in the industry.
The World Health Organization has declared April 7 to be World Health Day, an annual advocacy event that celebrates health care in general.
The WHO has been celebrating the occasion since the idea was thought of in 1948 and was available to the public by 1950.
Every year, the WHO promotes an area within the industry that can use more attention and public outcry. Sometimes has been climate change and universal health coverage.
For this year’s celebration, supporters are especially encouraged to recognize the role of professions like nurses and midwives. This year is considered the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, two positions that play a valuable part in our world’s collective health care community.
People are encouraged to thank any nurses, midwives or other similar professions they may encounter. Community members are also invited to encourage their local leaders and small businesses to continue to support health care programs, health-focused equipment, and infrastructure needs.
Nurses are encouraged to share their perspectives and photos so plenty of people can see them in action, including social media.
Take charge now
One area that has received attention domestically and internationally is palliative care. This is a fairly new philosophy in medicine where people – and any providers — choose to focus on someone’s quality of life, not necessarily finding a cure for whatever is affecting them.
In cases of severe health conditions, people may consider palliative care when the approach becomes risky or not having any significant outcome or chance for success. For instance, if a doctor keeps wanting to explore more experimental or long-shot procedures to try to heal something, they may just result in a lot of pain, a lot of surgeries and a lot of time in hospitals rather than in one’s own bed.
Instead, someone on palliative care may decide to reduce their pain and stress by going home. It doesn’t mean that they won’t see their doctor or provider anymore. What is does mean is that they’ll try to take control of the situation by being at home and refusing efforts that are experimental at best.
It doesn’t mean that a doctor is giving up and is sending someone to die. In some cases, being out of a cold, noisy hospital bed and in one’s home and bed surrounded by friends, family, and other loved ones can be a great way to promote healing and general wellness.
A doctor also may cut back on riskier medications that make someone feel bad and instead focus more on ways to help someone with their pain.