Aging and Late Life

  • Thomas Kalchthaler

Abstract

Each member of society belongs to a family. The family may be a single member unit, a traditional unit consisting of a husband, wife, and offspring, or a more complex unit consisting of an extended family with multigenerational representation and participation. The family unit has a unique identity with needs, traditions, goals, and aspirations. Each member of this unit has individual and personal needs, traditions, goals, and aspirations. Family identity, like individual identity, may change and evolve with time. The family physician must approach the older patient as an individual belonging to a family unit whose history encompasses the past, the present, and the future. The older family member may or may not be a vital member of the family unit. Nevertheless, each older individual fulfills a role within the family, and his pain, suffering, and limitations will affect the family unit. The family physician must understand the family unit in which the individual functions just as he must understand the relationship between the disease process and the patient. It is equally as important to understand and work with the extended family whose senior member is developing a progressive confusional state as it is to understand and work with the family whose head has just suffered a myocardial infarction.

Keywords

Family Physician Adult Child Family Unit Aged Parent Late Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

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  • Thomas Kalchthaler

There are no affiliations available

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