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Family Health Assessment

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Family Health Assessment
Family health and wellness can be influenced by many factors such as society, culture, religion, and family members. Somehow, society, culture, religion and families are connected to each other. To understand an individual, it’s important to understand the family system of an individual. Health practices, whether effective or ineffective, are activities performed by individuals or families as a whole to promote health and prevent disease (Edelman, 2010). A family health assessment tool provides us an opportunity to understand the family members’ correlation between each other’s, and also helps healthcare provider to formulate a plan of care that is appropriate to the patient. Effective health assessment considers not only physiological parameters, but also how the human being interacts with the whole environment (Edelman, 2010). Often, developing a plan of care without including family members’ inputs fails due to some of the key areas are not addressed by the patient. Eleven functional health patterns provided by Gordon’s serves as very useful and effective tool to collect assessment data. In this paper, writer will be conducting a family interview by utilizing the health assessment tool and summarize his finding based on question and answer technique, as well as through direct observation of the family. The family writer interviewed is a family of four: mother, father and two kids. Couple met each other during their college years, through each of their parents. This marriage had been arranged by both sides of the family, agreed upon by both couple, and it has been nine years since they married. Mother is pharmacy tech. who currently does not work, and stays home raising the children while her husband works as an anesthesiologist. This nuclear family is of East Indian descent with their religion being Sikhism.
Pattern of Health Perception and Health Management This assessment helps in revealing the characteristics of the family’s health perceptions, health management, and preventive practices (Edelman, 2010). Education has been a priority in this family. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a number one priority. Since both parents are in health care field, they are knowledgeable about the different types of practices used to keep one healthy. Their definition of health is the quality of the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. They follow the biomedical health belief, which assumes that physiology explains all illness and life itself (London, 2007). Because they are of Sikh religion, nobody in the household eats beef. In usual Sikh tradition, it’s highly encouraged that hair should never be cut (Feldman, 2006), but this family chooses not to follow that practice due to personal preference. The East Indian culture diet consists mostly of rice, lentils, herbs and spices. The children are encouraged to eat most of the food as a sign of respect for the person who made it. The parents stress the importance of milk and calcium as a component to help reduce the risks of osteoporosis. Both parents drink alcohol occasionally on the weekends and consume no drugs. Regular checkups are a very important aspect for this family. They have never missed a single appointment and they are all up to date on immunizations.
Nutritional – Metabolic Pattern Nutrition is another important aspect of health promotion. Lack of nutrition makes a child more susceptible to illness. Children ages four to six require about 1,300 calories of food daily (Feldman, 2006). It is best to make sure that a variety of foods, low in fat and high in nutritional content is available. Foods high in iron such as dark green vegetables and whole grains are necessary to prevent anemia. One should never force the children to finish all of their food, and sweets should be limited. They should be provided with healthy snacks for school and on the road. A daily multivitamin also helps supplement their daily needs. The family has most healthy nutrition in the pantry. Family is well aware of children craving of fast food and candies. Once in a while family does have their pizza, sodas, and cadies as a treat.
Hygiene/Elimination
Family has developed the capabilities to stand, walk well, pull her pants up and down, and is recognizing the need to eliminate, which are signs of readiness for toilet training (Feldman, 2006). Various methods should be used to help a child become potty-trained. Some methods will be successful, whereas some will not. If a child is not ready to be trained, these methods can be tried again at a later time. Mother does have IBS Irritable bowel syndrome which causes constipation once in a while. Family has integrated many foods with fiber into diet to maintain healthy bowl.
Activity
The presence of obesity among older preschoolers has increased significantly over the past twenty years mostly due to lack of activity (London, 2007). Children should engage in moderate physical activity like bike riding or walking, at least a half an hour a day more than five days a week. The family should plan fun physical activities such as playing catch or even chasing each other (London, 2007). Mother doesn’t not let her children watch TV for more than 2 hours daily and take children to play outside every evening.. As the children get older they will engage themselves in high risk activities such as snowboarding, and rock climbing. On summer days, the children can go swimming as well, and on winter days children can enroll in indoor basketball classes. The father likes to do cycling every evening and mother goes to gym to maintain healthy body.
Role Structure Father is usually in charge of the household, decision-making as well as whether or not the family will attend certain events or functions going on in the community; although he will not make any major decisions regarding the family without consulting the wife and the children. Mother is in charge of making breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family. Father is also involved with cleaning and local chores inside and outside of the house. Children are expected to help in household chores they get older. In their culture, it is very important that daughter knows how to cook Indian dishes before she gets married, so that she will be able provide food for her future husband.
Sexuality
Children grow and learn new things everyday. Parents should be well aware of the next stages of growth and development, so they can prepare the child for the next stage of life. One important developmental issue in this family that may be of importance in the future is sexuality in the adolescent years. Because of their culture, sexuality is never discussed. Parents should openly discuss the changes that will happen in the future, and should truthfully answer all questions. If they do not want children to be going to the movies or to friend’s house, they should make it very clear as to their reasons why, and how it is disrespectful to the family; rather than just not allowing it without any reasoning.
Stressors
Each individual has their own way of coping with stressors. These couple’s life revolves around their children. Mother quit her job to she spent all of her time feeding, and taking care of her children. She ignored her personal satisfactions, such as trips to the salon to get her nails done, or movie nights with her husband. This made life stressful for her. Now that children are growing up and in school, she is able to go out with her friends, as well as participate in her aerobics class twice a week. Father internal stressor is his job, and financial responsibility. He never has a lot of time to relax. A way he copes with his stress is through prayer, which keep his spirits high. He also plays with his children as a way of relaxation from work. There are no specific organizations in which the parents are involved, besides the local gym and the temple.
Religion
Most Sunday’s the children attend a temple which is known as a “Gurdwara” to worship the Guru. Upon entrance, heads must be covered with a handkerchief, or any type of cloth. It is respectful to sit cross-legged. Parshad, a sweet oily food made out of flour is also given upon entrance. Parents make sure children are part of the prayer. When the prayer is over, vegetarian food is served in the communal kitchen. This food given to the public is seen as a blessing by God.
The writer was able to assess all the aspect of family health and risk factors present in their health pattern with the use of Gordon health assessment tool. These various influences of culture, religion, family, and society on children make a great impact on family behaviors. By anticipating guidelines normal for child development, as well as following health promoting behaviors, one is more prepared for the future changes

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