Acute Care/Hospitalization of Family Members

Acute illness is an altered health state of a severity and immediacy whereby ill individuals recognize that they are ill, must accept the “sick role,” and seek appropriate help. For most minor acute illnesses, individuals can care for themselves or remain in their home and be cared for by a family member. This situation is particularly true for children who are dependent on their family to provide this critical function. For some, the acuity of the illness or altered health state requires the individual to be hospitalized to receive a level of health care that the individual or family cannot provide. This entry discusses the history and impact of hospitalization of a family member for acute illness and the implications of this event for family ...

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