Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ask Needy People what they Need

Jim Donovan, Andrea Bowsher and our team at Sweeten Life are busily trying to perfect a Quality Of Life Assessment for families. The General QOLA will be used for churches to give to families who want to get an idea about their overall Quality Of Life, Stresses, Strains and Joys.

The Assessment grew out of our year-long study about the needs of families with a member who has a serious disability. After giving a monthly QOLA and home visit to the people in our research study, we discovered that filling out the Assessment and discussing it as a couple was extremely valuable.

1. It required the couple to spend time discussing the Assessment. That is rare for most couples.

2. We asked questions that couples rarely ask themselves and almost never discuss. For example, what are the areas of stress and exhaustion. They were different for husband and wife and often surprised their mate with their answers.

3. When noted and discussed, many couples faced and removed the stress points. About 50% of the stressors were removed. Victory!

4. It revealed that almost no one was asking the parents about themselves. the care givers are largely ignored by medical personnel, ministers, family and friends.

5. The couple, when asked, did not know what to tell people they needed. The QOLA solved that problem.

6. The things noted by parents as needed and desirable were usually very different than what others thought they wanted and needed. In fact, what the public, pastors and medical community wanted to offer usually caused MORE stress not less. 

7. The parents were able to track their progress by taking the QOLA and looking at it later.

We will use those insights to construct a new QOLA that will be useful for any and all families as well as families with a disability. If you are interested in using the Assessment, let us know.

Gary Sweeten

No comments: