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What Are the Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Chronic Disease Management

exercises for seniors

The concept of holistic healthcare is widely misunderstood both by the public and many medical professionals. However, it can be a powerful tool that can help lead patients of all age groups and health levels to a happier, more satisfying life. How can the holistic approach help those with chronic diseases to manage their conditions?

Clearly, making a home alteration plan is an important part of senior care management, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Here is a list of MS home adaptations and other alterations that have been compiled by our home care Seattle team that will improve your loved one’s quality of life.

What Is the Holistic Approach?

Many people believe the holistic approach is a form of alternative medicine, but this could not be further from the truth. The holistic approach includes and actively encourages the use of contemporary medicine. Holistic medicine, as a concept, encourages patients and practitioners to see the whole picture and investigate all available options of care. Holistic caregivers strive to promote emotional and psychological health in addition to fixing physical problems. Since all chronic disease processes create a vast array of such secondary issues, a holistic approach is necessary to achieve optimal healing.

Holistic Management of Chronic Pain

An excellent example of the surprising power of the holistic approach is found in pain management. For severe, chronic pain, many patients rely exclusively on prescribed pain killers. In addition to often failing to eliminate pain, this approach also opens patients up to the risk of addiction and dangerous side effects when overused. Once again, holistic care does not eliminate the use of pain medicine, but it offers improved results by including other treatments as well. Methods of holistic pain management might include:

  • Massage
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Relaxation
  • Music therapy
  • Acupuncture

Holistic Care of Emotional and Psychological Needs

Chronic disease affects a patient’s well-being in many ways. Many patients experience low self-esteem, social isolation, body image issues and even severe depression as a result of their conditions. It’s important that patients and their caretakers don’t ignore these issues or view them as unimportant next to the physical disease process. Many of these emotional needs are beyond the reach of modern medicine and doctors, but holistic care can help to fill the gap.

One major source of emotional distress is often the loss of cherished activities and hobbies. Those who are advanced in age or suffering from a chronic disease are sometimes not able to be as active as they once were. Patients and caregivers should be alert to ways to stay physically and mentally active. Putting effort into this area can yield fantastic results and ensure that all holistic needs are met.

  • List all important phone numbers (fire department, police department, and emergency contacts, etc) in a visible place near the phone
  • Remove screen and storm doors with automatic locks
  • Hide an extra set of keys in a secure location outside
  • Tint or decal glass doors
  • Lock away dangerous objects and items (knives, razor blades, medications, cleaners, chemicals, and insecticides)
  • Remove choking hazards, like refrigerator magnets
  • Pad sharp corners on tables and chairs 
  • Replace glass kitchen items with sturdy plastic plates and cups 
  • Cover radiators and other metal that can get hot
  • Lower hot water temperature in the home to 120℉ or lower
  • Install locks on cellar/basement doors
  • Tape out stair edges, so they’re easier to see
  • Purchase an electric stovetop with an automatic shut-off device
  • Fence in the yard with a locking gate to remedy wandering 
  • Install a motion detector alert system

Enlisting Help to Provide Holistic Care

If you or a loved one would like to investigate broader options for chronic disease management, contact us today. Fedelta Home Care offers a wide variety of home care options to patients throughout the Puget Sound area. Our expert home care workers can assist you in providing companionship, personal care, emotional support, medical assistance and more no matter what your needs might be.

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