Delivery in day(s): 5
Unit 21 Significant Life Events Assignment
Bereavement can be defined as the period during which a feeling of grief is experienced after losing someone (Clark et al, 2009). The attachment of a person to the individual who died helps in determining the time period spent in bereavement depends, and also upon the fact that how was the time spent during the anticipation of the loss as seen (Clark et al, 2009). The objective of this essay is to understand how significant life events impact on individuals and their social networks. A case study has been selected as a base to elaborate this essay. The scope of this essay lies to concentrate on what might be the status of the mind of a person suffering from bereavement. The purpose of this Unit 21 Significant Life Events Assignment lies in explaining the bereavement impact on physical, psychological and social considerations of an individual by analysing possible bereavement group responses and understanding the influence for others in social and health care when a person is under bereavement.
The physical, psychological and social impact of bereaving individual
Bereavement is the product of significant life events experienced by individuals. These significant life events imply a situation wherein an individual experiences something such as a death of a family member close to the individual causing him or her to be under the impact of this significant life event. The major influence of SSLE also known as significant life events is bereavement as in the case study of Mrs. Garry, wherein George experiences bereavement on the death of his mother, Mrs. Garry.
According to model of E. Ross on Grief, the following is the impact of significant life events such as death on individuals at different stages of bereavement. Their emotional response is present in Figure 1:
With reference to the case study it can be said that George is in the shock stage wherein he has been initially paralyzed at hearing the bad information about his mother. The above model is also a description on psychological effect that George is experiencing in the shock stage.
The phenomenon of bereavement consists of three impacts which are namely, physical, psychological as well as social (American Psychiatric Association 2010). With specific reference to the case of Mrs. Garry as given, George was under the bereavement’s social, physical and psychological impact as eventually his mother started to descend towards death. Exhaustion due to improper sleep and stress of taking care of a dying individual even though inexperienced in doing so, were the physical impact of bereavement experienced by George. Social Impact of bereavement as evident from the case study will be experienced by George only when 6 months have gone without him seeing his mother and with him knowing she is dead because this is the period when support will not be available in abundance as the initial days. Most friends will start avoiding George because in the beginning at the time of his mother’s funeral it was easy for those relatives and friends to come but now they have their own life to look at. This will in turn make George withdraw from socializing and he will deliberately alone himself. Detachment, disinterestedness, feeling of loneliness are common social effects of bereavement.
1.2 Analysing possible group responses to bereavement
Based on the case study, George obtained group response to bereavement in the following conditions:
- When Mrs. Garry breathed her last George as a response gained experience from the support group of palliative care team (Kandt, 2012).
- The support group as a response helped George to communicate about the condition and the nature of treatment received by Mrs. Garry among the pupil.
- Students of Mrs. Garry raised more than £300 for the charity requested by her as a part of wishes to be fulfilled. The support group hence played an important role here as they helped George by responding as well as supporting the needs of bereaved.
The response given by the group was not only completely positive but also had the ability of making George trust in the group which helped George to trust even the responses given by the group. The group also helped George to go back to his mother’s old school where she taught in order to fulfil the last dream of his mother. This response helped George to fulfil his mother’s desire and in turn this helped George to feel less blamed of himself on the situation. The decision was fair and just as it helped bereaving George to see some hope in the darkness.
1.3 Analyse the impact for others in health and social care when an individual is bereaved
As evident from the case study, George is experiencing bereavement from the recent death of his mother. When in her last breathes, George felt the need to save his mother especially when he could see she is having problems in breathing. He asked the nurse to help but in vain because the nurse knew it was normal for a dying person to experience difficulty in breathing. It only implied that she had very less time left. The Nurse in this situation came in contact with Mrs. Garry who was nearing her death and George was sitting beside her in a bereaved condition (Kiekolt-Glaser et al, 2008). This situation can have an equal impact on the nurse and the support staff of the hospital which comes in contact with the dying person. According to Rickerson et al, 2005, in a study quantitatively conducted to survey 200 staff members working in USA health care institutes, it was acknowledged that those staff members experiencing the maximum symptoms of grief are those who were working for long hours in their health care and were in close relationship with the dying patient. These symptoms of grief were inclusive of physical, emotional, family relationship inefficiency and in turn impact on the performance of work of the nurse with other patients.
Feeling sad, to cry and thinking only on death were also the negative influences experienced by these staff members especially on seeing the bereaving individual. Also, according to Kubler Ross, 1973, it was found that the issues with the nurses when they worked with patients who are dying came mostly when the patient was of their same age or gender making the nurse easily relate to them. Additionally, according to Katz and Johnson, 2006, various nurses make the choice of working in unit of life care especially because they themselves have had personal death experiences and have gone through traumas and losses. The bereaving individual according to them is the person they relate to because they had gone through the same situation (Kemeny et al, 2005). For the nurse having a death related personal experience recognizes the experience as a creation of an interface between personal and professional realms in between their individual events of life and interactions with other professionals. From this perspective, it becomes evident to present the analysis of the effect of bereaving individual on professionals of health and social care. This also illustrates that the three effects of bereavement which are physical, social and psychological are also all experienced by the nurses along with the bereaving individual.
2.1 Evaluate the effectiveness of organisational policies and procedures of supporting bereaved individuals such as Mrs. Garry and her social networks
The support services play an important role at the time an individual needs a support after losing someone closer to him/her that is under bereavement. So it is necessary that proper service has been set up as well as proper organisational policies are being followed for the betterment of human beings especially when experiencing significant life events. A support service purely dedicated towards bereavement support shouldn’t necessarily put emphasis upon the death type, yet rather focus on the bereaved individual and the results of their misfortune, and screen for entangled pain (Kandt 2012). Without the evidence in order to support efficiency of and need of a committed suicide-specific support service for bereavement, it is recommended that keeping in mind an appropriate plan for development it would be good that the existing bereavement support structures should be strengthened and enhanced. Existing suicide support bereavement services should be supported on continuous basis for basic needs with the help of the fund allocated for this purpose.
However, as evident from the case study, George had chosen to take up palliative care which is governed in Australia under standard guidelines. The important principles lying under the standards are constituting the following deliverables to support individual under bereavement that is George in this situation:
- Support being given in a targeted manner in alignment to those who would advantage from the intervention of specially identified by screening the structure and assessing it
- Focusing to identify the individuals in bereavement with their individual resources and their capacities that can help in enhancing the resilience
- Providing support throughout the period of pre-death for several post death months and even ahead of that whenever George needs
- Within the context of policy, there does not exist a limited period of time to provide support of bereavement by palliative care services under Victorian rule
- Focusing on extending palliative care to the bereaved individuals family as well
Administrations should be integrated for those who are bereaved by suicide, from a structural point of view, with general support services for bereavement. This will mean improving and creating general support services in those parts of the nation that don't have an administration or where the administration is not completely or satisfactorily resourced and guaranteeing that the needs of those bereaved by suicide are entertained inside these structures at the same time perceiving their extraordinary necessities (Kemeny, Weiner, Duran, Visscher & Fahey 2005). For example when George was bereaved after losing his mother then he is helped by palliative health care society in order to help him to fulfil the dreams of his mother and it all happened effectively when an interaction with students of Mrs Garry was done.
Therefore, the support of procedures and guidelines available to George are effective which has been proved from the guidelines of Victorian standards. The best practice in the support provided and available for George lies in identifying and reinforcing the achievements to cope and attain positivity.
2.2 Explain how others in social networks may provide support to bereaved individuals.
Getting a Social support is one of most critical components in foreseeing the physical wellbeing and prosperity of every individual, extending from youth to adults. The deficiency of social help demonstrates some hindrance among the affected people. In the very beginning crumbling of physical and mental wellbeing among the victimized people can be seen (Speckhard & Rue 2013). In the beginning social help given is likely a deciding element of an individual in effectively making him or her overcome life stress. The vicinity of social help fundamentally predicts the capacity of an individual to adapt to stress such as for George. Realizing that other individuals value the deceased is one of a vital as well as mental component in helping them to overlook the negative parts of their lives, and thinking positively about their surroundings (Kiekolt & Glaser 2008). Social backing not just enhances an individual's prosperity but at the same time it also influences the immune system of the body too.
There exists six criteria’s of social support from the social networks available to George that analysts utilize in order to measure the level of general availability of social support for the particular circumstance or a person. Initially, analysts would observe the measure of attachment from a mate or companion. Second, the social integration level with which an individual is involved is measured, it normally originates from a gathering of individuals or companions (Lang & Gottlieb 2011). Third, the affirmation of worth from others, for example, an uplifting feedback that could boost and inspire the respect toward oneself. The fourth paradigm is the dependable alliance help that is usually provided by others, which implies that an individual knows they can rely upon accepting support from relatives at whatever point it was required. Fifth, the direction of affirmations of help given to the single person from a higher figure of individual, for example, a guardian or a teacher (Silverman & Overholser 2007). The last rule is the opportunity. It implies the individual would get some social improvement by nurturing a sustaining knowledge within their children.
2.3 Evaluate the suitability of external sources of support for those affected by significant life events
The external sources for the purpose of support can only be evaluated by the help of examining their standards which have been set up for proper functioning, and those factors are as follows:-
- Access- All essential carers of customers administered to by a pro palliative consideration are qualified to get to bereavement services palliative consideration regardless to age, sexual orientation, culture, financial status, religious beliefs, capacity to pay, or other disability provided that (Lang et al, 2011):-
- At a minimum level the support for bereavement is basically available to the primary carers and as well as additional family members also.
- The delivery of service takes place with respect to spiritual, cultural and social beliefs
- Training and Support – The administrating staff including the one responsible for palliative care will come in contact with the people who are bereaved and then require support and training to deal with the people.
- The non-clinical as well as the administrative should be having minimum training in order to make support strategies.
- The staff should possess a tertiary qualification in appropriate discipline
- Should have regular access towards the chance of continuing further education
- The palliative staff should be having an administrative supervision
- Screening and assessment - Screening as well as assessing for spiritual and psychological distress and danger of complicated sorrow is a continuous methodology attempted from the time the customer enters the palliative consideration, numerous months after the customer's passing. These evaluations are a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary undertaking in light of the fact that customers may unveil distinctive data to diverse staff at diverse times.
3.1 Analyse possible organisational responses to the need to support individuals experiencing a significant life event.
The organisational response consists of the terms like confidentiality, communication, it may also ensure that the policies related to employment are implemented objectively and impartially at the same time releasing the potential by providing equal opportunity. Proper measures like risk and need assessment, protection of individual, health and safety measures and data protection should be taken into account (Lieberman & Jacobs 2010). The Human resource department and the manager prove to be important whenever grief or bereavement hit their employee because they have such type of relationship with employee due to which they are held knowledgeable and informed for the instances happening in the life of an employee.
The organisation at the same time are responsible for informing social and health care services and local agencies in order to ensure proper counselling is available for the bereavement care of an employee apart from this fact the organisation should also ensure that each individual employee is aware of the support available to him/her by dissemination of information proactively. The volunteers and staff should be trained properly in order to provide support the individual affected.
The co-workers and managers should provide comfort and sympathy and at the same the same time provide off from work situations for the employee suffering from the occasion of bereavement (Lieberman et al, 2010). The above activities can also be called successful if it includes equal involvement of Director, Manager and HR as well who should be able to properly deal with the facts by giving consideration to the feelings and also explain the individual about the normal reactions they can expect to experience (Marwit 2006). The organisation can help an individual by recommending him/her further session of counselling’s and also provide the consultation services in advance of any approaching event in order to ensure that the bereaved individual may turn up and work effectively towards performance, progress and growth.
3.2 Reflect on own personal contributions to the support of individuals experiencing significant life events
At certain point of time feelings may arise within an individual when encountering death, dying and loss which in turn brings about a major change in the personality of a person. The same happened with one of my friend at work who unfortunately lost his father and was bereaving the loss. As a friend and responsible individual I opted for truly supporting my friend in this harsh time, at a personal level I made sure that nothing goes wrong at the funeral place.
Around 3 hours later that is after completing the funeral ceremony and returning back to home I accompanied him and made sure that he doesn’t goes into serious depression or do something wrong to himself (maybe due to the guilty of not able to take care of his father properly during the time he was standing near to death). I also made sure that people who came to meet him in order to express their bereave didn’t spent much time so that they may not talk much about the incident and as a result doesn’t ended up making him feel alone and helpless.
My emotions during this instance were that of care because he has been my friend since school days and he was always there to accompany me in the worst and heart breaking situations of mine. The thoughts that were constantly my hitting my mind were of the time required by my friend in order to recover from this incident at the same time I was thinking of being present everywhere and at any time whenever he need my support. This experience of mine was worth learning because it’s related to truth of life and how we react after losing someone and the way we should help a bereaved individual who has lost someone very close.
3.3 Make recommendations for improving the support available in a health and social care organisation for individuals and their social networks when affected by significant life events.
At the time of suffering from a loss of a closed one it may seem to be easy working with adults as they have their own life experiences which can help them to recover at a fast pace but the case may not be the same for small children who are new to experiencing sudden loss of someone very close (Marwit, 2006). It is important to lay down some recommendations for the support system because if proper support is not given than the children may have to go through life long depression and at later point of time they may not get social in fear of losing someone whom they come close to (family and relatives). At the time of making support system trust and confidentiality plays important role in maintaining an appropriate level of care taking strategies.
The support staff of a child should not be changed regularly because of the fact that a child basically needs to have a feeling of being in safe hands and at the same time if staff is continuously changed than the child may not be able to share the bitter experiences that he/she faced due to losing a close one. It should be made clear to child whatever he speaks or shares with the support staff will not be told to an outsider because this will only lay the foundation of building trust from the side of a child (Silverman et al, 2007). A child should be made to know on an important basis that the support staff dealing with him/her will not be getting involved too emotionally on certain topics that are painful to talk about because it is also important to maintain an emotional distance from the child. Physical contacts like a hug should be used within its limitations so that the child may not misinterpret it as something else or which also can be used as a barrier by the child at the later point of time.
It can be concluded from the essay that the impact of significant life events should be dealt properly prior to facing any mental and health issues. Also the mechanisms which will help to improve the support systems have been discussed which as a result enabled an organization to train as well as provide consulting service to the whole staff in order to overcome grief and at the same time it helps in recommending the change within a social network of an individual by primarily focussing upon procedures as well as the policies that are followed by the organization in order to maintain the employee growth as soon as he/she recovers from bereavement.
Every aspect of well-being can be influenced by bereavement ranging from physical well-being to functional ability of the person such as by George upon death of his mother, Mrs. Garry. Significant life events for an individual are not personal because they can be shared by his social network to ease the pain of his aloneness (Speckland et al, 2013). To learn to live with someone close’s loss is the experience with most painfulness that can be encountered by a person and the response in the society makes it difficult for people under bereavement. This essay has focused on George to identify the different influences of bereavement he is under after the significant life event in his life. It would be suggested as a conclusion for this essay that the taboo in the social networks to not talk about death and bereaving individual should be removed and people under bereavement should be offered as much support as necessary. Not only is the beginning period crucial for this support but also in the post death months support is required (Worden, 2009). The norm should be to educate people on bereavement so that youth individuals and even the adults are properly equipped for dealing with their situation and rather than losing themselves are able to find support.
American Psychiatric Association. (2010). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Barbato. A., & Irwin. H. (2008). Major therapeutic systems and the bereaved client. Australian Psychologist, 27, 22-27.
Clark, S. E., Goldney, R. D. (2009). Grief reactions and recovery in a support group for people bereaved by suicide. Crisis, 16, 27-33
Kandt, V. E. (2012). Adolescent Bereavement: Turning a fragile time into acceptance and peace. The School Counsellor, 41, 203-211.
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