Holistic Care

Holistic means considering a whole system, such as a whole person, rather than dividing the system up into parts.  Holistic care means caring for the whole person – the mind as well as the body. A simple example of holistic care is taking time to talk with your clients while helping them bathe. You are meeting the physical need with the bath and meeting the psychosocial need for interaction with others at the same time.

Another way of practicing holistic care is considering psychosocial factors in illness, as well as physical factors.  For example, Mr. Bollinger looks thin and tired.  The cause might be depression rather than an infection.  You do not need to determine the cause of his condition.  However, by talking with him you might learn something that would help the rest of the care team.  For example, you might learn that last year at this time his wife died, and he is still coping with that loss.  You can and should share this information with the care team and document it.