Family health values and beliefs are determined through traditions of the individual members as well as the availability of resources to support healthy lifestyles and accessibility to health care (McNaughton, 2011). The interviewed family is an American Caucasian family consisting of an older adult couple (late 50’s) and their teenage son. They maintain a favorable view of self-care, having the available resources and access to excellent health care. They receive annual check-ups and address any health issues with their physician. Overall, the family maintains a healthy environment at home and attempt to be health conscious in their actions.
Physiological health is the primary aspect of the family health assessment. In terms of nutrition, the family follows a well-balanced mixed diet. They prefer homemade foods and always have a variety of options on the table. They are aware of the basic nutritional groups and their distribution in accordance with medical and government recommendations. About once a week they choose to eat out or have food delivered, often with unhealthy choices. The teenage son chooses to have junk food and carbonated drinks more often, but the parents attempt to limit his intake. Everyone reports more than adequate intake of water. Elimination is healthy on a regular basis although the husband has complained of periodic constipation.
Everyone in the family receives adequate rest and sleep. The wife mentions having insomnia every few months that is manageable with medication. Overall, the family attempts to schedule its activities to provide an extensive time for sleep. Activity and exercise are lacking in the family as it leads a sedentary lifestyle. The parents have sitting office jobs as accountants and do not feel the need for exercise. The son is a student who does not participate in any sports.
The family chooses relaxed forms of leisure or entertainment, such as watching a movie together or going to a baseball game. When asked about their BMI, the identified as slightly overweight but have no concerns about physical health. Everyone in the family has an adequate sensory perception that they check every year. The husband requires glasses while reading. There are no issues with auditory perception.
Mental health including cognitive, emotional, and psychological well-critical to overall health as it allows to analyze personal behaviors and ability to deal with stress. The family feels like they have excellent cognitive function. The parents are well-educated and maintain cognitively challenging jobs. The son does well in school in courses ahead of his age. There are no noticeable issues with coordination. Although the wife has mentioned being forgetful of trivial things lately, she blames it on work stress. They have discussed the issue with their doctor and memory seems intact for all members of the family.
Self-perception is normal within the parents as they are established adults who feel they have achieved a significant amount in their lives and contributed a lot to the community. They feel valued and respected by neighbors and friends. However, the teenage son is experiencing tremendous pressure regarding self-perception, feeling unsure and self-conscious. He struggles with body image, feeling underdeveloped and lacking masculinity unlike other boys in his school. It has bothered him to the point of depression for which he is seeking counseling with the support of his parents. The family experiences healthy coping mechanisms. Having lost a close family member recently, it was painful, but they underwent a natural process of grief, and it does not anyhow interfere with their lives.
Interpersonal connections, particularly within the family, helps to determine social well-being as healthy relationships which contribute to psychological health. The family maintains traditional roles. Both parents work in the same accounting firm. The husband is a high-level executive while the wife is a mid-level manager. Work does not interfere with home life but contributes to the relationship since they can emphasize with one another.
Finances have never been an issue in the family. Everyone contributes to maintaining the household. The husband likes to work with tools and does any related work on the home. The wife likes to cook and deals with laundry while the son has basic chores. They have a healthy social relationship within the family as they often dedicate a couple of evenings a week to spending time together. Everyone in the family attempts to support each other’s interests and ideas as well as offer emotional guidance. Each individual also has a group of friends that they can spend time with.
Sexual health is a sensitive issue in the family. The teenage son has taken sexual education in school, but the family emphasizes abstinence until adulthood. He was politely asked to leave the room while the parents discussed their sexual lives. The couple mentioned that their sexual activity has substantially decreased over the last few years, falling to once every few months. They feel that it was partially due to the stress of work. Although the couple maintains a close personal rapport, there is no sexual drive which leaves both of them frustrated. The wife mentions that she wanted to increase sexual activity, but the husband fears that he will be unable to have adequate function due to age. This causes friction in the relationship.
The two identified wellness issues in this family based on the extensive interview are lack of proper exercise and physical activity as well as poor sexual health. The family demonstrates a sedentary lifestyle, due to the type of work as well as chosen activities for leisure. Although the couple is not young, it can be beneficial to exercise based on physical abilities well into senior age. Regular exercise helps prevent and mitigate a wide variety of age-related diseases as well as protect against metabolic conditions, cancer, cognitive decline, and other physiological issues while having little detrimental effects on the body. If the family wants to maintain overall physical health and prevent the onset of chronic disease, it is critical to increase levels of exercise (Febbraio, 2017).
Sexual health is also a critical wellness issue. Although older adults experience declining sexual activity, it is directly correlated with poorer health and potential issues with sexual functioning, particularly amongst men. Older adults engaging in intimate activity is a natural occurrence despite common stereotypes. A decrease in sexual activity results in chronic physiological conditions and poorer psychological health as well as tension in the dynamics of the relationship (Lee, Nazroo, O’Connor, Blake, & Pendleton, 2015). Therefore, sexual health in older adults should be managed and encouraged in order to achieve positive outcomes.
Febbraio, M. A. (2017). Exercise metabolism in 2016: Health benefits of exercise — More than meets the eye! Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 13, 72-74. Web.
Lee, D. M., Nazroo, J., O’Connor, D. B., Blake, M., & Pendleton, N. (2015). Sexual health and well-being among older men and women in England: Findings from the English longitudinal study of ageing. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(1), 133-144. Web.
McNaughton, D. (2011). Factors influencing family health values, beliefs, and priorities. In M. Craft-Rosenberg & S. Pehler (Eds.), Encyclopedia of family health (pp. 423-429). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.