The family used for this project is the author’s family. Using Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns (Edelman, 2010), the author developed two to three questions for each health pattern. The author and her spouse answered the questions, and then those answers were compiled to form the basis for this paper. Summary of Findings for Each Health Pattern Under the topic of “Values, Health Perception,” the family perceives that their health and well-being is not where it should be. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, both members have always worked in highly stressful and demanding jobs. As a result, their health has suffered as each has put work before health. Exercise has been sporadic or not at all. Their diet includes portions that are too large due to the fact that they eat out a great deal of the time. While they strive to eat the right foods, they often fail which has led to high cholesterol levels and heart issues. They do get annual physicals, mammograms, pap smears and flu shots. Each family member takes various supplements to improve immunity and help with energy.
Along with poor physical health, comes poor mental health and each family member is on anti-depressives. In terms of nutrition, the family has the financial resource to obtain nutritious foods. There are several groceries in their neighborhood that offer organic fruits and vegetables. Both family members are overweight and while they often eat nutritious food, each consumes too much of it. In terms of fluids, there is adequate consumption of water. One family member consumes regular soft drinks. Sleep and rest is a real problem for the family.
One family member has severe sleep apnea and both family members often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Various relaxation techniques have been tried including music, sleep tapes, white noise and meditation. None of these techniques has worked for long periods of time. As a result, sleep deprivation issues have plagued the family for years. Elimination is not a problem for the family. Both have regular elimination patterns. The male member of the family, being over fifty years of age, has experienced problems with difficulty urinating and is now on medication to relieve the issue.
Although the family can attend to all activities of daily living, walking the family dogs is about the only daily physical exercise the family gets. The family does have a gym membership and one person goes more frequently than the other person. The family does experience problems with going up and down the stairs in the home, often out of breath when climbing stairs. One family member is developing poor cardiac health and has had several bouts with pneumonia over the last few years that has weakened the respiratory system.
The family does not have good muscle tone and endurance is poor. The cognitive ability of the family is above average. There are lapses in memory but this is to be expected for a family in their early sixties. One family member is a lawyer and has to comprehend and use large amounts of information on the job. The other family member started nursing school at the age of fifty-eight and is continuing on to complete a BSN. Sensory perception is what would be expected in a family of this age. Both family members have experienced a decline in the quality of eyesight and hearing.
Certainly, both family members reported that their reaction time and sense of balance is not as good as it once was. The self-perception of this family is poor in regard to body image. The sense of self-worth is higher due to their career achievements, however, this is overshadowed by their concerns about being overweight and its accompanying societal disapproval. It is easy for the family to become depressed about their body image and often the family feels there is just no way to win as each has failed at maintaining a healthy weight and exercise regime.
Role relationships are very strong within and outside of the family. The bond with other family members is strong and the family has many friends with whom they interact on a regular basis. In terms of the family’s role in the world, there is the belief that both have been successful, responsible citizens and parents. Sexuality is an area of disappointment for the family. Poor health has altered the view of the family as sexual beings. Neither family member is happy with their sex life, however; each has come to terms with it.
Coping with stress and job related issues has been a source of concern for the family. The family does not cope well with stress, and this is borne out in the issues with food. The family seeks out each other in times of stress and a strong bond has developed as a result. Almost all of the physical symptoms experienced by the family have been caused by working in very stressful jobs. There have also been health issues of in-laws that placed a great deal of stress on the family for many years. The stress for one family member has resulted in the development of almost daily migraines.
Prescription medications is often helpful; other times this person must go to the emergency room, or to the family physician for treatment. Wellness Nursing Diagnoses for the Family Coping-Stress Tolerance Pattern: Nursing Diagnoses: Impaired Adjustment; Ineffective Coping (Wellness Nursing Diagnoses). The behaviors or statements that relate to this nursing diagnoses include: “I turn to food to cope with stress and, as a result, I have gained weight which has affected almost every area of my health. ”
Activity-Exercise Pattern: Nursing Diagnoses: Risk/Activity Intolerance; Fatigue; Impaired Physical Mobility, Ineffective Breathing Pattern; Ineffective Tissue Perfusion; Gas Exchange Impaired; Decreased Cardiac Output (Wellness Nursing Diagnoses). Difficulty breathing upon exertion. Does not use tobacco. No cough. Sleep-Rest Pattern: Nursing Diagnoses: Sleep Deprivation; Insomnia. Sleep difficulties include insomnia and sleep apnea. Family member also has chronic migraines which often disrupt sleep. Sleep medication such as Lunesta is often helpful.