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Family Relationships and Response to Health Issues


A family is an integral part of modern society. The majority of people tend to create families. All the members of a family have certain roles. They are most obvious in the crisis, but when a health crisis occurs, the role expectations may change (McCormic & Blair, 2014b). Dangerous diagnosis influences not only the person but his or her family as well. That is when the family nursing should be introduced. Kaakien, Coehlo, Steele, Tabacco, and Hanson (2015) state that “Most everyone in the nursing profession agrees that a profound, reciprocal relationship exists between families, health, and nursing” (p. viii). The change in roles due to the modification of health condition also causes some psychological transformations. That is why it is important to assess the family health state; it may be helpful during the healthcare provision.

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Family Objectives

The family I have questioned is a traditional American family. They have lived in Miami for their whole lives. There are six of them in the family. The family is al-white. The father is 51, and his wife is 47. They have three children. Two boys aged 27 and 14. And a girl who is 21. The wife’s elderly mother who is 73 also shares the house.

The absolute leader of the family is the father. The family runs a small café where he is the chief. Thus, he is the main provider. The café is not big but popular with the local population, so they earn enough to make a living. The wife does not work. She runs the house and takes care of her partially disabled mother. At weekends she helps the husband at the café. The elder son is a software developer. He used to live separately, but after a break up with his girlfriend, he came back to parents’ home. He is also a provider. The daughter is a student at the University of Miami. She does her MBA in International Business there. She helps parents at the café when it is necessary. Besides, she works part-time. The younger son is at school. He plays rugby for the school team and is going to continue the sporting career. During his vacations, he works in the café with the father. The grandmother is a soul of the family. Although retired, she used to be an active member of the local community before the illness.

At present, the family members are relatively healthy. The grandmother had a stroke five months ago. Despite the age, her rehabilitation is successful. She is still not able to walk properly, but she is positive about her recovery. The mother was diagnosed breast cancer four years ago. The surgery was timely, and the treatment was effective, so she is in remission now. The psychological condition of the family is satisfactory. The elder son was experiencing depression after the break-up with his girlfriend, but he has recovered now.

The family lives in a good house. Every family member has a separate room. The living situation is good. The family members manage their earnings wisely. Thus they have an opportunity to go on vacations (both abroad and around the United States) and save some money. With a working father and two senior kids, they make their living without any problems.

Family and Personal Development

According to Leifer & Fleck (2013), the age-appropriate developmental tasks are accomplished by almost every member of the household. The younger boy as a teenager is physically developed. As for the psychological development, he is rather independent. He has an employment outside the house, which is his rugby games. He considers himself already an adult and demands the proper treatment. The elder children are in the period of young adulthood. They have already chosen their careers. Although the daughter is still a student, they both are financially independent. Still, the elder son is not as psychologically mature as he is supposed to be. The parents, being in the middle adulthood, follow the developmental tasks. They are physically more fit that the equals due to regular exercise. They both do not need glasses yet. As for the psychological development. It also corresponds the age. The parents keep in touch with their children. They have a choice of favorite activities for leisure time. The grandmother in the geriatric stage is already more vulnerable to diseases. Still, her mental function is preserved at full.

According to McGoldrick, Preto, and Carter (2015), the family combines some of the developmental stages. They have achieved the Independence stage which is considered to be the most complicated. The stage of coupling was completed too. At the moment they are at the stage of Parenting: babies through adolescents with their younger son. They got stuck at the following stage of Launching adult children. The younger daughter is going to marry after she graduates, and they suppose the elder son will leave them soon too. As they have a younger son, they will not observe the feeling of the empty nest which is characteristic of this stage.

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Physical and Psychological Issues

The family is not aware of any family history of genetic predisposition to diseases. Their ancestors were comparatively healthy. The family sticks to the healthy way of life, that is why they all are immunized. Besides, they check their immunization status before going abroad. As far as the parents remember, the adolescence period of elder kids passed comparatively calm. The younger son was experiencing slight skin troubles in the early adolescence, but gradually the problem vanished.

When it goes about the hospital admission, peculiar relationships are revealed. In this case, these were mother-daughter relationships (Blair, & McCormic, 2014a). When the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, most of the care were the could not leave the cafe for too long. He had to earn money for treatment and living. Consequently, the visits to hospitals and appointments with the doctors became the primary task for the daughter. The same model repeated when the grandmother had her stroke.

This family is a good example of a part of democratic society. They have a tradition to discuss the problems and make the decisions together. Thus, they all know the will get help and a piece of advice when necessary. There is no evidence of violence in the family. As far as I understood, the core component of children upbringing was raising the responsibility and self-control. I would call this family a sample for the crisis interaction. Then most of the people feel lost in the critical situations; these guys are concentrated and united. It is probably the reason why they cope with the complicated health problems without much stress. I suppose that the religious factor also matters. The family I am talking about is a Catholic one, and their faith makes them more patient.

The goal of this family is to live happily. They have all the necessary things for this. With some nursing support of the problems they have, they will reach their goal quicker.

Nursing Diagnosis

A nursing diagnosis is a component of the nursing treatment and is usually based “on the subjective and objective data obtained” (DiGiulio, & Napierkowski, 2014, p.4). I can think of some nursing diagnosis for this family. First of all, it may be the risk of activity intolerance for the grandmother. As a rule, people who have experienced a stroke, become very careful. In this situation, the way-out is as follows. The old lady should not stay alone for a long time. During her rehabilitation exercises, she should be accompanied by a nurse who may assist and advise in case of necessity.

The second issue is connected with the senior son. He is observing a risk for low situational self-esteem because of the breakup with the girlfriend. The solution for him may be to visit a group of psychological support. Another good idea is the involvement into volunteering activity to distract his attention from the problem.

The third problem may be observed by the mother in this family. After the successful cancer treatment, she still experiences anxiety that the disease may return. The involvement of the groups of support for people who still fight this lethal disease may add her self-esteem.

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On the whole, the family health assessment is crucial for nursing. People are social beings and depend much on the surroundings. The family is the closest surrounding. Thus its influence is the greatest. It can be both, positive and negative. Consequently, the awareness of the patient’s family situation will improve the nursing process.


Blair, S.L., & McCormic, J.H. (Eds.). (2014a). Family and health: Evolving needs, responsibilities, and experiences. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

DiGiulio, M., & Napierkowski, D. (2014). Health assessment demystified. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Eduction.

Kaakinen, J.R., Coehlo, D.P., Steele, R., Tabacco, A., & Hanson, S.M.H. (2015). Family health care nursing: Theory, practice and research. (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Leifer, G., & Fleck. E. (2013). Growth and development across the lifespan: A health promotion focus. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

McCormic, J.H., & Blair, S.L. (Eds.). (2014b). Family relationships and familial responses to health issues. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

McGoldrick, M., Preto, N.A., & Carter, B.A. (2015). The expanding family life cycle: Individual, family, and social perspectives. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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