Why it makes more sense to care for kids and parents at the same time [centerforhealthjournalism.org]

 

It’s the flu season, and David, a 4-month-old baby with a chronic lung disease, is with his pediatrician for a flu shot. David’s condition leaves him particularly vulnerable to respiratory illnesses like the flu. During the visit, David’s parents, Clare and Dave, discover that they need to make separate appointments to receive their own flu shots, which only complicates their already overwhelmed daily routine.

Now imagine a place where David and his parents can receive a flu shot at the same time, avoiding the burden of multiple appointments. According to this two-generation approach, a therapist, doctor, or medical specialist would address not only David’s needs, but also those of the rest of the family, thereby improving their access to care and making their lives easier.

The people described in the scenario above are real. David was my patient. He was born premature, with a lung condition that required him to stay in the NICU for two months. It took David’s mother, Claire, five years to get pregnant with him, and when he was born, nothing went as planned. Claire wanted a home birth; instead she had an elective cesarean section. She wanted to breastfeed; instead she had to pump. Because of David’s needs, Claire was a very involved mother. She learned to feed David from a tube and attach oxygen so that he could breathe when he slept at night. But while David slept, Claire watched and worried. She didn’t expect to have a baby like David. While she had expected to enjoy motherhood, she didn’t realize it would be such a relentless challenge to keep David healthy.

[For more on this story by Aviril (Apple) Sepulveda, go to https://www.centerforhealthjou...d-parents-same-time?]

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