The Case of Mrs. G.
Mrs. G. is a 75 year old Hispanic woman who has been relatively well all of her life. She had been married for 50 years and had five children. Her children are grown with families of their own. All but one of her children live in other states. Mrs. G.’s husband passed away last year, which was devastating for her. She had been very close to him and relied upon him for everything. He was “the life of the party” she always said and was a loving and caring man. Since his passing, Mrs. G. has continued to live in the house they shared for 35 years. In the last month, Mrs. G. has fallen twice sustaining injuries, though minimal. Her home health nurse comes weekly to check in on her. Mrs. G. likes her very much and wishes she could come more often. Mrs. G.’s daughter who lives in the next town over, has been worried and decided with the urging of her siblings and the doctor to start looking for an assisted living facility for her mother. She found one last week and talked with the Director who said she would be happy to help in whatever way was best. The daughter decided to tell her mother that it was time for her to move, so she can be cared for and be safe. When she told her mother, Mrs. G. cried and said, “This will not happen ever. I plan to stay in this house of loving memories for the remainder of my life.”
In 3 – 4 pages answer the following questions:
How would you best describe Mrs. G.’s feelings about her life, her family, her traditions, and her future?
Did Mrs. G.’s response to her daughter surprise you? Please explain your answer.
In what way do you believe her culture might be influencing her decision?
If you were Mrs. G.’s daughter what would you say to her that shows you are caring and have compassion for her situation? What nonverbal communication would support that level of communication?
Suppose Mrs. G. stands firm about not leaving her house. What resources and collaborations might be available and helpful so the daughter and other healthcare providers can keep her mother safe and make the most effective decision?
Mrs. G.’s Feelings and Perspectives:
Based on the provided information, Mrs. G. appears to have a deep emotional attachment to her late husband and the home they shared for 35 years. Her description of her husband as “the life of the party” suggests a vibrant and joyous connection. Losing him has had a significant impact on her emotional well-being, and she is likely grieving his loss. Mrs. G. values her family and traditions, as indicated by her close relationship with her children and her desire to remain in the house filled with loving memories. The idea of moving to an assisted living facility challenges her sense of autonomy and disrupts the familiarity and comfort she associates with her current living situation.
Mrs. G.’s Response to Her Daughter:
Mrs. G.’s response to her daughter’s suggestion of moving to an assisted living facility may not be entirely surprising considering her emotional attachment to her home and her desire to preserve the memories associated with it. The loss of her husband may have intensified her need to hold onto familiar surroundings and routines. Furthermore, the suddenness of the suggestion may have caught her off guard, leading to an emotional response. Her strong emotional reaction could be rooted in her longing for the presence of her late husband and her fear of losing further connections to her past.
Influence of Culture on Mrs. G.’s Decision:
Mrs. G.’s Hispanic background and cultural values may significantly influence her decision to remain in her home. In Hispanic cultures, there is often a strong emphasis on family bonds and intergenerational support. The home is seen as a central gathering place for family members and represents continuity and stability. Aging parents are often cared for within the family, and the idea of leaving the family home and relying on external care may be seen as a departure from cultural norms and expectations. Mrs. G.’s resistance to moving could stem from her desire to maintain her cultural identity and preserve the values associated with her heritage.
Communication with Mrs. G. as a Caring Daughter:
As Mrs. G.’s daughter, it is important to approach the conversation with compassion and understanding. Expressing empathy and acknowledging her mother’s emotions and attachment to the house will be crucial. The daughter could say, “Mom, I understand how much this house means to you. It holds so many beautiful memories, and I know how important it is for you to keep those memories close. We want to make sure you’re safe and well-cared for, and we’re exploring all options to achieve that while also respecting your wishes.” Nonverbal communication, such as maintaining eye contact, offering a gentle touch, and displaying open body language, can convey warmth, care, and support during the conversation.
Resources and Collaborations to Ensure Safety:
If Mrs. G. remains firm about not leaving her house, there are several resources and collaborations that can help maintain her safety and well-being. Firstly, a comprehensive assessment by healthcare providers, including the home health nurse, can identify potential risks and implement safety measures within the home. This may involve installing grab bars, removing trip hazards, and ensuring adequate lighting. Additionally, regular check-ins by the home health nurse, increased support from the daughter and other family members, and involvement of local community organizations can help provide the necessary assistance and social connections for Mrs. G.
Collaboration with local senior services agencies and social workers can help identify additional resources, such as meal delivery services, transportation assistance, and home care providers. These professionals can offer guidance on home modifications and connect Mrs. G. with support groups or social activities tailored to her interests and cultural background. Collaborating with her healthcare providers, including her primary care physician, can also ensure regular health check-ups and coordination of medical care.
It is essential to approach these resources and collaborations with Mrs. G.’