Fundamental changes occur in the life patterns of a couple when one of them enters an extended care facility. Each of the life patterns influences each of the others, and changes that affect one member of the couple have a significant effect on the other. With time, situations fluctuate and dependency needs change. With preadmission planning and understanding of life patterns by the nurse, many of these issues can be explored and plans made to deal with them before placement. On-going assessments become the basis for interventions that can help the couple cope with additional changes. Emphasis needs to be placed on periodically revisiting the issues and having the nurse monitor, initiate, and facilitate cooperative, collaborative relationships within the health care team. Through careful planning, the nurse can assist in promoting more effective adjustments to residential life and can assist the married couple with maintaining a more satisfying relationship.
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