Good Theory Of Human Behavior Case Study Example
Ray and Jean Case Study
Ray, at eighty, and Jean at seventy-five, are too old to look after themselves or their family members. When Miranda, one of Ray and jean’s daughters contacted me; a social worker in a family service agency, to talk about ways to ‘get help’ for her parents, it was obvious that neither Miranda, nor Marge, could spend time with them. As Marge was undergoing a prison sentence, there was no way she can be of physical or psychological help to her parents, and Miranda, facing a difficult situation herself, would also not be able to spend much time in serving her parents. Therefore, they would definitely need the help of external sources to care for Ray and Jean.
Familial relationships are dynamic as are family memberships. As a family grows, each member’s responsibility grows, and there comes a time when responsibilities overrun familial relationships. When a baby is born, its parents take a lot of care and develop a strong bond of love. As the baby grows older, his or her parents continue to shower their love and support for their child. They do everything within their reach to give the child the best of the world in the best possible way possible to them. However, as the child grows older, the parent-child relationship begins to change, and the parents’ caretaking responsibilities begin to reduce child enters adulthood. As the child becomes an adult, he or she is able to take independent decisions and take of themselves. The parents don’t have to worry about the child anymore, as it is able to take decisions independently, and look after itself. However, the child who has become an adult must not forget that it is also their responsibility to care for their parents who after a certain age, are forced to seek the support of their child(ren). Therefore, in the case of Ray, he suffered a stroke several years ago, much after retirement. Till then, he had supported the family, morally and financially. Post-retirement, Ray has no source of income, and as age begins to catch up with him, it is the responsibility of his children to care for him, both physically, and morally. Therefore, when Miranda contacted me for advice on what she should do to help her parents, my advice to her would be to support both, Ray and Jean, in the best possible way she can. Miranda has her problems; she works as an office manager, and she doesn’t have the time to look after her parents even though she wants to. Further, there is no way she can leave her job, as that would make her financially insecure, and even if she did, as she tried to help her parents with their household chores or transportation to medical appointments, she found herself becoming angry and impatient with her father because of his often verbal abuses when she and her siblings were growing up.
This is a case where an adult’s independence or dependence, voluntarism or obligation is questioned. Generally, adult children hope to live independently after a certain age. But when a situation as that of Ray and Jean fall on the shoulders of Miranda; who is an adult child, there is a reason to believe that they are a burden to Miranda, and reversely, there will be the question of whether something is wrong with Miranda if she were to return to her parents’ home. In hindsight, there is a strong sense of obligation on family members to care for other family members, if a need arose, and if the family members were Ray and Jean, it becomes an obligation for Miranda to look after them. Now the question is, Miranda is not the only child of Ray and Jean; they have three more children. Agreed Marge, the youngest child of Ray and Jean, and Miranda’s younger sister, has struggled with addiction to cocaine and other drugs and is serving a jail term because of which, she can’t contribute in any way to support or care for Ray and Jean. But there are two other children whom Miranda hasn’t mentioned in her discussion with me. From what is known from Miranda’s revelation about Ray’s relationship with his children, it can be said that the complicated family relationships has contributed to complicating the care-giving responsibilities or obligations of the children.
Considering the above conditions, it would be ideal to discuss the case from human behaviour based on systems theory. Under systems theory, the parent-child (ren) relationships are built on a reciprocal basis. Ray was the sole breadwinner of the family when Miranda, Marge and the other two children were growing up. Ray worked for thirty years to support and care for his family even though he had abused alcohol and was alternately verbally abusive or morose when he had too much to drink. Though he had stopped drinking when he was fifty-five, and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly for several years, it would be hard to convince Miranda to care for her parents because of her own difficulties. Ray’s alcohol addiction can be attributed to Marge’s addiction to cocaine. When a parent has no time for his or her children, they are bound to seek ways to find solace and comfort, and Marge must have run into a group of children or adults who were into drug abuse. As Ray didn’t give the children the love they needed while growing up, it reflected on Marge, who had left her son, Jason, in the safe hands of her mother to care for him. According to psychodynamic theory, early childhood experiences can influence their emotions, and this thought becomes a central problem throughout their lives. This could be the reason why Miranda didn’t talk about her other two siblings. Perhaps they were boys, and they couldn’t tolerate the kind of treatment they were getting from their father, as a result of which, they would have walked out of home in their teens. Therefore, it would be hard to impress upon them to care for their aging parents under the system’s theory.
Jean, on her part, can’t think of sending Ray to a nursing home. Jean, even though she is also aging, takes care of Ray at home, with the help of two of her four children and occasional assistance from a home health agency. She is too weak to care for him on her own. He is heavy, and because his left arm and leg are partially paralyzed, there is little can do to improve his mobility. Also, his verbally abusive behavior because of his immobility, incontinence, noisy grandchildren that frustrate him, has made it very difficult for Jean to even provide moral support. However, she has, by virtue of the system’s theory, not discarded him, or sent him to a nursing home. She believes in reciprocating; it was Ray who supported and cared for her and her children for thirty years, and it would have been highly immoral for her to do so. Therefore, she does whatever she can to care for Ray despite the toll it was having on her physical and psychological well-being. Her attitude thus shows her following the system’s theory. Though she cared for Jason, as much as she could, there was no way she could look to Marge for support as she was in jail. She would feel extremely guilty about having to send Ray to a nursing home or any other facility because as a child, she has seen her mother care for her father when he became elderly and infirmed. Thus, under psychodynamic theory, Jean is under the influence of her childhood experiences where she is emotionally influenced by what she saw as a child, she saw her mother support her father unconditionally, and how this motivated her behavior.
Therefore, considering Jean, the ideal solution to handle Ray at home would be to take the service of a social worker. Social workers respect and promote the rights of their client’s self-determination, and assist them in their efforts to identify and reach their goals. A social worker follows certain professional ethics, and they have an obligation to communicate the values, principles, and standards relevant to such practices.
Social workers are not bound by emotions or how a client behaves. They are professionally trained to handle clients who may be vulnerable, oppressed, or living in poverty. Their duty is to ensure that their client’s basic needs are met, and are self-determined when dealing with clients who have addictive, behavioral or mental health issues. It is also important to know the client’s cultural background as this can help social workers design their support program.
The hypothetical treatment plan for social workers to create the method to care for Ray would be to shape Ray’s behavior through positive reinforcement, and exercise stress management practices that include relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and systematic desensitization. A psycho-social assessment done at the beginning of treatment and care will provide the social worker with the presenting problems that can be used to identify the needs.
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