Ruth Brimley's Family Developmental Perspective

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Introduction The family of an elderly woman named Ruth McKinley face many challenges. The McKinley family believes the only option in terms of meeting their needs is to place Ruth McKinley in hospice care. Although Stanley, Marcia, and Bethany share a great affection toward Ruth, because of many factors in their lives, they are unable to provide the care she needs for the sake of her well-being. Developmental Perspective One of the biggest caregivers in Ruth’s family is her granddaughter, Bethany, who is 25 years old. By focusing on the developmental perspective, it is important to note the changes in Bethany’s behavior as she has cared for her grandmother. Hutchinson (2015) acknowledges that developmental markers are “typically associated with young adulthood: education/work, intimate relationships, leaving home and starting a career” (p.59). Whereas, Bethany remains in young adulthood, yet she is taking on the responsibility to care for her grandmother, which according to the developmental perspective should be later in her life. Life Span Theory According to Hutchinson (2015), the life span theory “focuses on the inner life during age-related stages” (p.60). In reference to this theory, Bethany is considering postponing her education in order to take on the role to care for her family. Therefore, Erickson would not have considered Bethany to be in the appropriate stage in her life. She should be on stage six of her life, exploring intimacy versus isolation. Not to

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