Adaptation to the chronic stress of disabling conditions, involves many important factors. Cognitive factors, multiple losses, changes in routines, roles, and expectations are all included. Research reflects profound negative physical and emotional consequences of caregiving experienced by family members that provide 90 percent of the long-term care for those with Alzheimer's disease. Goals of caregiving interventions involve changing the way that family members interact with the patient and helping family member's manage patient-related problems. Merely coping with a stressful event by means of emotional ventilation or avoidance, is linked to poorer emotional adjustment. Cognitive focused coping such as reframing and acceptance with a focus on the positive is associated with a better emotional adjustment (Cocoran, 1994, p. 38; Hinrichsen & Niederehe, 1994, pp. 95-96; & Patterson & Garwick, 1994, pp. 287-288).
An adequate theory must be explicit regarding the goals, what is to be changed and how this should be done. It should be clear what effective application of the theory will require of the client and what the practitioner will need, to bring about desired changed. The theory should state what the practitioner needs to do and how the practitioner can assess the outcome of the intervention (Compton & Galaway, p. 45).
The family is an ecological system that nurtures the individual, it is the primary social service agency. An ecological approach is necessary to place equal emphasis on different needs prevailing. Family systems need to be assessed to determine family functioning during a crisis. Families facing a threat tend to see their problems in terms of environmental perils, thus environmental interaction is also needed. Families have a system which includes a set of rules, roles, forms of communication, and ways of problem solving. Mechanisms exist to maintain balance or homeostasis. Optimal functioning allows ...
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