Heritage Assessment Tool
Upon completing the Heritage assessment tool there were several things that I realized. The primary realization was that in my family we do tend to cling to those things familiar, we seek things that are known and comforting. Some of the common health issues in my family consist of Cancer, Diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In my family, these are issues that have not only been handed down within my bloodline, but they have been issues within my heritage for as long as you can trace back.
When looking at health maintenance there are certain things that have occurred in my family for generations to try to hinder the onset of certain illnesses and disorders, physical activity and a healthy diet have been important because if the increased risks of cardiovascular issues as well as the high chances of having high blood pressure and diabetes (Last-Name, 2011). Cancer has also been something that unfortunately, there are not a lot of things that can be done to defend against it; however, I make sure that I am checked regularly by a physician for those cancers prevalent in my family as well as those that I may not be as highly susceptible. I believe that my family does subscribe to the practices associated with heath maintenance, protection, and restoration. However, it does not seem as strong as previous years. It is easy to lose sight of an issue if it is not one that you regularly have to deal with; not acknowledging that often, the things you do to protect against or maintain a health issue or concern plays a significant role in where you are today. My professional heritage is nursing, and I feel very close. I identify with being the caregiver and sometimes being that source of help and health that others look for. When you think of nursing, you think of caring and providing for the needs of someone else that may or may not be able to do for them-selves.
Regardless of one’s heritage, I think we all have concerns; we all have different ways of dealing with them. Some may be more situational than others may. The moral of the story is that health and well-being is the most important to the individual. He or she can either choose to take heed of what their ancestors have done to cure, treat, or protect against whatever ailments may be an issues in their families.
Family Number 2
The second family that I will discuss is a family whose heritage is Asian Indian. Through our discussion, I learned that some of the health issues that they deal with are similar to those dealt with in my family. Health problems in this family include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, and sickle cell disease. One of the main differences in health traditions is the belief system surrounding illness and how to treat one when it occurs. In the second family interviewed, they have a strong Hindu belief system and focus more on what they stated was meditation. They too use herbal supplements to promote healing and well being, these are also used to prevent illnesses. There are nutritional guidelines as well as lifestyle guidelines that they follow that too ate suppose to have a significant impact on health (Picchu, 2011).
This family is deeply tied to the traditions and practices of their culture. Though there is no proof that these methods do not work, it is evident to the family that these methods have managed to keep some of the issues stated previously from being a factor in current and past generations. Tradition was very strong in this family; one major comparison is that though the learning tools that were shared by my ancestors are still told from generation to generation, they have been altered through the years, each generation making them more accommodating for their particular life style. In Family number, two from what they reported there have not been any alterations made. There is a very strong family unit, they visit each other often and tend to live around others that share their same core values and beliefs. The two oldest children have married people that share the same basic heritage and belief systems. This is different from that of my family where marriages have not necessarily been to people sharing the same heritage; however, the values have been comparable.
Family Number 3
The third family interviewed has a Jewish background discussed some of the issues that are prominent in their family. For decades, they have been dealing with Chron’s disease this is a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract and can be extremely debilitating and painful. Family number three was not able to give much insight into what were the practices of previous generations. They explained that their family had broken away for most traditional views and that this was something frowned upon and that they were not close with extended family members. Chron’s disease has been effecting there family directly for the past thirty years. The only daughter out of two children was diagnosed at only a few years old. She has had to have numerous surgeries, and has been off and on various medications and steroids. This family went on further to explain that this has caused them to alter some of the things that are done on a regular basis. First, her diagnosis has changed the way they all eat, as well as their activity level. Everyone has pitched in to try to be helpful and knowledgeable on Chron’s (Arnone, 2011).
Health maintenance consists of keeping regular doctor’s appointments, eating a healthy diet, and taking medications as prescribed. Health protection consists of knowledge of what the symptoms are and what can be done to try to keep flare-ups from occurring. Unfortunately, Chron’s is not something that could have been avoided and did not occur because of anything that the daughter or the family did, health restoration: eating properly, not drinking alcohol or doing drugs, and also staying relatively active and physical therapy when needed.
One thing remains consistent in all three families, they deal with whatever situations they have going on and they take care of each other. Though there are families that may not have strong ties with extended family nor may they have strong ties with the beliefs and values of their ancestors. However, they communicate and they try to prevent, treat, and restore health by any means necessary. One important thing I have learned from this assignment is that it is important to know your roots, to know why heath concerns should be given the most attention, as well as if there are proven methods to treat or prevent these issues from occurring. Knowledge is important.
Arnone, J. (2011). Family 3 heritage Interview/Interviewer: Your name Here. Heritage Family Interviews, U.S..
Last-Name, First initial. (2011). My Family Interview for Heritage Project/Interviewer: Your Name Here. Family 1 Interview for Heritage Project, U.S.
Picchu, K.A. (2011). Family 2 heritage Interview/Interviewer: Your Name Here. Heritage Interviews, U.S.
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