When we say QUALITY OF LIFE what do we mean by the term?

What do you think of when someone says quality of life? How do you define it? (I know there are quizzes and studies that help determine what your quality of life is, but sometimes what others think doesn’t matter- some things have to be defined by the individual- if the individual thinks that their QOL is poor, then it is)

What do you think goes into quality of life?

My very incomplete list would include:

  1. shelter
  2. food
  3. health
  4. at least one loving relationship
  5. ability to do things that I enjoy

If I lose any or all of these things, I feel that my quality of life would suffer.

So what happens if you DO lose one of these things?

Say your health declines…

your QOL will change…

Do you adapt to your new normal? Do you complain? Do you fight?

If something happens to you QOL what do you do? How do you handle it?

Discuss any or all of this concept of quality of life:

77 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Quality of Life

  1. Quality of Life, for me, is summed up by looking back and saying “yes, that was a good life”.

    Could I do this today without stumbling? Not sure…

    But practicing gratitude for what is, not just lipservice but deep-seated, emotionally-felt gratitude for what is right now helps me to focus on that and not lack of scarcity. So even if something bad happens and I lose something I didn’t want to lose, a conscious shift of focus on what I DO have must occur to maintain Quality of Life.

    This takes practice. And I’m getting better at it. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes, not having a home would be unthinkable. A decline in health the natural aging process way is adaptable, I would say sudden onset of disease or chronic pain is by far the worse qol reducer. Companionship is important, I make friends easily so I would put that far down my list. Being unable to achieve goals or do hobbies relates to health. I always say your health is your wealth. It is the deciding factor for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes to the health. That was the driving force behind this. My father in law is experiencing a health set back and he is struggling mentally with his new normal. It’s difficult to watch him now

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agree with your list. I would add the ability to learn and discover and seek knowledge being taken away…or being forced to believe in systems/concepts/ideology without recourse or self-direction. To be made to lose my identity and ability to reason for myself from an outside source/entity would be crushing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My parents are in their nineties, so when I think of quality of life, I think “Independence”. The ability to do and think things for myself.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Yes of course you adapt. Survival of the fittest? I say it’s more about attitude and survival of the most positive. People are very pliable. They can adjust to just about anything if they have to. Unless, quite honestly, they are too stubborn, too spoiled, or lack the fortitude to survive.
    What I’ve figured out is that after a couple weeks we get can used to any new situation and we can learn to handle it. Anyone can adapt to a new normal.

    I think most of us underestimate our abilities.
    People tell me I’m so strong. . I’m not. I’m just realistic.
    . When I am faced with challenges, I do not bemoan those changes, I figure out what needs to be done, accept it, and power through the best way I can.

    My life have changed drastically at various times. In my youth it was divorce. My life changed, my environment and living conditions changed,, I became a single working mom, my big house was gone, and I had to go back to work. I cried for about a day or two but then took that energy and transferred it into actions. I got a new job, an apt., daycare for my baby and I moved on. There was no time to boo boo or feel sorry for myself . I had to be a big girl at age 25 and support a child. So I did. (He turns 50 in two months and grew up to be an amazing man. So switching gears and powering through actually worked)!

    Now, due to illness my life has drastically changed again. But I can’t let it affect my spirit. When life gets difficult we either face it or freak out. And flipping out is childish. It helps no one.
    When I lost my hair I actually had a women tell me she couldn’t handle losing her hair . I finally got annoyed with her and asked her, would you rather be temporarily bald or permanently dead? That shut her up. I mean who says that to someone? I personally found wild scarves and cool baseball caps to wear. I turned my head gear into a fashion look.
    Most people are spoiled. I was. I would I rather be traveling in retirement? But since right now that’s not possible I’ve learned to structure my life differently. Find activities I can do books I can read, stories I can write etc…
    I also believe in counseling. Talking to a professional can help if you need to bounce back ideas or have questions. Do what works for you.
    Because what good does it do to complain and gripe all the time? Or stay focused on the past. Set your new course. Make new goals for your new normal.
    I know people who gripe about everything. I openly talk about my situation because I guess I want to take the stigma away from illness. A lot of folks are afraid of people with cancer. Some avoid sick people cuz they can’t deal with it. . Don’t avoid then. Hug them. Tell them you care. Call them, visit them. Hold their hands.
    Support any decisions they make.
    And for those going through changes. Ask yourself would you rather be happy or miserable? And then figure out how to find ways to smile even though life has changed. C hangs can be good!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Realistic is strong….the strongest people see what’s there and prepare the best we can. This post was inspired, I guess, by my father in law. He is having trouble accepting the limits his body faces as he deals with a manageable yet incurable disease. He says quality of life about a thousand times a day, and when he doesn’t feel like he thinks he should it gets bad…it’s been a mental struggle for my husband and I don’t know how to help anyone

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “I…took that energy and transferred it into actions.” I think this is they key to maintaining quality of life. I’ve faced (and overcome) a lot of adversity, and I think reaching acceptance and then seeking out a solution gives the sense of control and independence (as JournalArtZ suggests) that so many of us crave. If these are the cards I’ve been dealt, how am I going to play my hand?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I understand how frustrated it must be for your father in law and how difficult for your husband to watch his dad going through this. I think men sometimes have more difficulty with this.. And their physicality is so much apart of their persona. His doc should set him up with a counselor to talk to. I know when my father was hospitalized before he passed his doc in the hospital recognized that my father was depressed and had someone come in and chat with him. My dad was very pragmatic. He fought hard to live but when he asked the doctor if he was going to improve ( he fell and developed blood on the brain that kept having to be drained. And at 90 the blood vessels were too fragile. My father was in Mensa and was brilliant. The thought of becoming a vegetable was not appealing). and the doc said no, that eventually they couldn’t drain it anymore. my father said “ Well, if I can’t enjoy my family then life isn’t really important anymore”. He fell asleep and 24 hours later he was gone. It was devastating to watch but once my father realized his true situation he was done. But my dad never complained. It wasn’t his style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My father in law acts like he’s fine, won’t use cane or walker, and then falls multiple times a day. And he’s a toxic positivity person so he lacks resilience, and now it really shows. It’s hard to know what to do


      1. It is really hard to deal with people as they age, especially if they won’t help themselves. A person has to know his or her limitations. I remember when I ripped my hamstring off the bone after an accident when I was in my mid 60’s. I had to first use a wheelchair, then a Walker, then a cane, and then I was perfectly fine on my own. But, Its absurd to think I could have managed without the aid of some device until my leg fully healed. Now, for a good week after chemo treatments, I keep a walker by my bedside just in case. I know I get unsteady or sick in the middle of the night. . There’s no shame in getting help if you need it. Here’s the thing, if your father in law breaks something it’s going to make things worse for everyone. I am so sorry your family has to deal with this. 😢.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your list is good. Losing any one of those would be difficult, but you can decide to be positive in the midst of problems or have a perpetual pity party. Depending on the type and extent of loss, that is easier said than done. Along with the loss of independence which comes with aging, I would add freedom as an essential. It is something we take for granted in the U.S., but we now have citizens who are political prisoners in our country. I could not imagine my ever saying that, but it is a sad reality.😢

    Liked by 1 person

  8. NEW TAMPA, Fla. – Holocaust survivor Nat Ross celebrated his 101st birthday back in March with a little help from his friends. He had no idea that when he blew out his candles, a message was about to go viral – asking others to send him well wishes.

    To me, this is the epitome of living well-outliving evil.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Quality of life means waking up every morning. Looking around where I live and liking it. Liking my wife, kids and grandbaby. Looking ahead to what I have left and what I can accomplish. Looking back, but not too often, and seeing what I’ve done and how I’ve overcome or at least learned to live with my mistakes. Health has a lot to do with it too, but in all, know that life is good if you make it good. Put something into it, give it some effort and you’ll get something out of it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. JC you are exactly right! I think people assume their lives have to be perfect. We have to readjust our expectations if things in our lives suddenly change. And just enjoy the moments we have that are good… WE have the ability to assess what is good about each day.
      I will never forget listening to a lecture in college when taking education courses. A psychologist suggested that teachers should find at least one positive thing about each student in our classroom before meeting with their parents. And begin every parent – teacher conference with a positive! Even if it’s just that the child wears clean socks every day. At least it’s something. I never forgot that lecture. I learned at age 21 that we could always find one positive thing about any situation. Thank goodness i learned that in life. It prepared me for the many ups and downs we face on our life’s journey.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Adapt and go into survival mode. That’s how it felt when I filed for bankruptcy and couldn’t make both my rent/car payments. My Dad helped with the bankruptcy and car and my brother took me in as a border for 2 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Two thoughts come to mind when you mention QOL. We were invited to a friend’s house for Easter dinner. Their house was roasting hot inside from cooking and our heat wave. My husband complained and the other husband said he’d open the windows and it would cool down in a few hours. My husband mentioned quality of life on the way home and said sometimes you have to turn on the AC. Our friends have a huge house, spectacular views and plenty of money…. The other thought is my dad who is 91 and talks about his Rx Quality of Life pills. Oxy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I refuse to be in a car with any of the parents driving. Shockingly, my father in law agreed to give up his car. I was surprised he acted responsibly because that’s not his mo

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting topic. I have to go over with my MIL the medical directive papers and it asks about what she considers necessary for quality of life and, if she didn’t have those things, would she want to continue living. At 97 she is ready to let go though so it shouldn’t be too hard to have the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. For my mother with dementia, having a safe place to live and caring people around her, along with a cup of Cheerios to nibble is QOL.

    For me, I don’t know if that would serve if dementia should creep up on me, but would I even have a clue at some point?

    I do consider my good health a real blessing. Should things change, it would change my QOL. But I would adjust to the new normal. Just being alive to watch the sunrise is a wonderful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think most of us realize how lucky we are, and we have a gratitude problem. Someone once said…if you didn’t have something in your life tomorrow how would you be affected? Like, my fridge broke in Monday, we couldn’t get delivery of new one till Friday, and apparently you’re supposed to weight 24 hours before you plug fridge in. I will be really grateful when we plug it in, it gets cold, and I don’t have to go down the hall to my neighbor to get milk for my tea!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I find it interesting that you don’t have finances on your list. Money is the key to many of the other things you named (food, shelter, ability to do the things you enjoy). True, it can’t buy health, but it can pay for care and treatment that might improve your health. And I was going to say it can’t buy love, but…well…mail-order brides ARE a thing, so…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Quality of life is being able to have at least one thing you enjoy doing every day, whether it be a nice meal, a good book or movie, a conversation with a loved one. So when they say, older people in nursing homes or people with health issues have no quality of life, that may be what the person on the outside is thinking about them, but the actual person might still think they have good Qualify of Life.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is different……and sad, especially if they are in pain or have severe health issues. I know of someone who choose M.A.I.D. (legal here under strict criteria) with his family’s support and approval, as he was facing several months of severe shortness of breath, maxed out on diuretics and drugs already. The hospice doctor offered it if he was interested and he was. His wife told me the whole story, after the fact, and I was both mesmerized and horrified at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

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