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Most older people do not want to be a burden on their children. Care facilities for the older generation is the most expensive option and least client-friendly arrangement (Cliquet, 1999, p. 14). This has caused a shift from institutional care to the family. Susie’s life is about to change. Grandma’s life is also about to change. The nurse can assist with this transition by utilizing the family structural theory and the family developmental theory.
The family structural theory recognizes family changes that could lead down a negative path and guides the process to problem solve and generate alternative responses to each other in the safety of the therapeutic relationship. This theory uses cognitive techniques such as reframing. Susie and her children will be taught to stop and think beyond symptomatic behaviors and complaints and see their behavior and choices in the context of family structures and relationships. Grandma may not want to be disturbed by the different lifestyle of the daughter’s family. Both parties will need help to restructure their thinking and actions to live alongside each other. Susie’s family should be included in this process with ther family subsystems clearly defined and agreed upon. Two great words will need to be incorporated into this family; 1. Cohesiveness and 2. Adaptability. This will call on teamwork from the family, the nurse can help them to negotiate conflicting interests. The strength of the family system depends on the abilities of members to restructure thinking and adapt to this new stress (Vetere, 2001, p. 134).
Family Development Theory focuses on changes that can be developmentally predictable by individuals as they move through their life course. This focuses more on the individual and their stages in the life cycle rather than on the family as a group. This knowledge of developmental stage can assist in understanding the why’s of behavior and moving towards acceptance (Powell & Cassidy, 2007).
Health education will be helpful to assist Susie in providing additional resources provided by the community in assisting her as a care giver. Caregivers can neglect their own mental and heath preservation and this needs to be addressed as well. This will not be an easy transition but with the help of the nurse, this family will begin to grow closer and see the many blessings that can come through this selfless service.
Powell, L. H., & Cassidy, D. (2007). Identifying family and relationship theories in family life education materials. Retrieved from https://www.extension.purdue.edu/purplewagon/FLEMat-QAT/PDF/Family_Theories.pdf