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Mrs. Jones, a widow, is no longer able to live independently and is requiring more and more help with her self-care. Her daughter, Susie, who is married with three school-aged children, agrees to let her mother move in with her. Susie is concerned with balancing the demands of her career and the needs of her family, especially now that her elderly and chronically ill mother will need assistance. She is also unsure about how she feels with the reversal of roles, having to now be the primary caregiver of her mother. How can the nurse, caring for this family, assist with the changes they are about to undergo? How can both the family structural theory and the family developmental theory is applied to this scenario? How can health education enhance health promotion for this family?
This situation for Mrs. Jones and Susie and her family is stressful. The nurse first need to do a family assessment, that way the nurse can better assist Mrs. Jones family situation. Susie and her family may think taking care of her mother will be a burden, and Mrs. Jones may feel like she is losing self -stability and independence having to rely on her daughter and family. With the right support group and resources it could turn out to be a positive situation. The nurse can also get case management involved to make thing go much smoother. For example, if case management was involved, then a nurse could come to the house to take care of Mrs. Jones while Susie works and raises a family.
The nurse needs to be aware that there can be risk factors that the family may experience that can set up the family up for dysfunctional health patterns (Edleman & Mandle, 2010). The risk factors can be: stress, anxiety, and pressure at work or home. The nurse needs to assess for these risk factors to help prevent a possible family dysfunction. The nurse also needs to educate the family on resources, communication and coping mechanisms, and the nurse also needs to educate Mrs. Jones because this takes a toll on a family and as well as the patients. Mrs. Jones may need help with coping with losing her independence. In these tough situations nurses need to show support, and good communication to help the family reach a functional situation.
Edelman, C., & Mandle C.L. (2010). Health promotion throughout the life span (7th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.