Week 2: Chronic Illness – Hypertension


Provide a brief introduction describing the chronically ill group you selected (Hypertension)and the rationale for selecting this illness and the participants (my mother-in-law was my participant)

Chronic Illness – Hypertension


Hypertension is a chronic illness characterized by the elevation of the pressure inside the blood vessels. “Globally, HTN is a major public health problem as it is the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases and is responsible for 9.4 million deaths each year in the world” (El Ati, J., Doggui, R., Ben Gharbia, 2021). The specific causes for this chronic illness are unknown, but it has been associated with a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in fat and sodium, and secondary to kidney diseases, among others. It is important to know the person’s background and what can be causing the disease in order to treat it. It is also important to know the involvement of the patients with his/her condition. For this study, I choose my mother-in-law, who has been hypertensive for a year and has been a big change in her life.


As I said before, knowing the patient’s background is the first step to knowing why the disease can be caused, and it would help to know the patient’s treatment. The first question was directed to her ethnicity; she answered, I am Hispanic. Recent findings from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Hispanics/Latinos suggest that among Hispanics/Latinos, 23.5% of women and 25.4% of men are hypertensive (Merz, 2016). How old are you? I am 75 years old. How long have you been diagnosed with hypertension? Well, it has been a year now since my diagnosis. How is your nutrition? Do you exercise? My nutrition before this year was bad, I ate everything fried, with a lot of salt, and no, I do not exercise; I am always at home. Do you smoke or drink alcohol? No, I do not smoke or drink alcohol. Do you have a

family history of heart disease? No, I do not have any family with heart disease. Do you have any treatment? Yes, my treatment is enalapril 5mg daily. How do you cope with this illness? It has been a difficult process because I had to change my lifestyle and my diet; I have to start a treatment every day and adhere to the treatment, which was new for me, but after a while, my coping is addressing all that I have to address in order to get better and stable with my blood pressure. Do you have any social support? Well, my family has been supporting me through every step of the process; they take me to every consult because I don’t drive and help me with everything that I need; besides that, I did not have insurance when everything started. I applied to Medicaid, and they approved my petition covering my doctor visits, labs, and treatments.

I consider myself part of the family; she lives in my home. When she said the family had been there in every step means that since diagnosis, we have done everything possible to bring the support that she needs to improve her health. We help her with her food choices, exercise together, and take her to the consults with the doctor and labs appointment. For the other part of the answer, which would be the insurance, we helped her to apply for Medicaid because we could not cover all her medical process, and hopefully, it was given to her, which has helped the process and made it easy. Coping with a chronic illness pertains not only to the patient but to the family caregiver who is alongside him/her and becomes an important agent for the healthcare system; they undertake the responsibility of caring for their loved one and participating in decision making even though they have no social or legal recognition (Chaparro-Díaz, 2013).

The treatment adherence is another part of the process that has been difficult because it is the only and first disease that she has confronted, and the treatment is daily; the first month, she forgot some days of the treatment, so we made an alarm that remembers her every day the time of the medication at the same time at the same moment that she needs to take it which has helped her since then not to forget.

For us, as a family, it has been a challenge since the discovery of the disease because of all the changes that she has to implement in her life, she does not like to exercise, and the diet was not the best, as I said before she loves fat and sodium included in foods and it has been her lifestyle for years. This means that making her change the usual daily way of living had been difficult. But with our support, she has been doing so well and is happy with her change on time because now she is totally controlled when talking about the disease. Her blood pressure is in the normal range every day. Being a family of a chronically ill patient is exhausting because of all the changes that we have to make in order to do it together as a family, but we are proud of her and how she has developed a sense of well-being with all the changes implemented.

How will this information direct care plan development for the chosen illness group

The information before exposure will help to redirect the patient’s care plan based on her necessities. The care plan should then be developed for continuity of care and follow-up. For this patient that just has this chronic illness with no other disease-associated and has not experienced depression with the disease or changes associated with it, the care plan would be easy to create. First, she needs a nutrition consult to check if the diet she has been following is correct and to develop knowledge of other food options that she can increment. Then she follows up with her doctor at least two times a year to check how is everything working. The evaluation of labs as triglycerides, cholesterol, and electrolytes is a key point to see her levels.

Chronic Illness-Hypertension 5

and evaluate the results. The prevention of a secondary complication such as a heart attack or a cardiovascular disease by implementing every step explained above to maintain the disease under control.


Chronic illnesses are a big issue in today’s society and have a big impact on the family. I made my paper based on my mother-in-law, a hypertensive patient, as hypertension is part of the chronic illness umbrella. It has changed our family and her daily living? Yes. It has been difficult for her to change her lifestyle and, consequently, for us. We have been involved in the whole process and support her every step. Hopefully, her disease will be controlled with all the changes implemented, and today she is proud of that changes. Her care plan would be based on follow-up, continuity of care, and prevention of complications. It is a very simple care plan because everything is under her control.


Chaparro-Díaz, L. (2013). ICT as a Social Support Mechanism for Family Caregivers of People

with Chronic Illness: a Case Study. Aquichan13(1), 27–40.

El Ati, J., Doggui, R., Ben Gharbia, H., & El Ati-Hellal, M. (2021). Prevalence of Hypertension

and Adherence to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet Score in Childbearing

Age Tunisian Women: A Cross-Sectional Study. BioMed Research International, 1-9.


Merz, E. L., Roesch, S. C., Malcarne, V. L., Penedo, F. J., Talavera, G. A., Castañeda, S. F.,

Daviglus, M. L., Giachello, A. L., Gonzalez, F., II, Perreira, K. M., Ponguta, L. A.,

& Gallo, L. C. (2016). Social support, simpatía, and hypertension prevalence in

Hispanics/Latinos: Findings from the HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study.

Journal of Latina/o Psychology4(3), 131–141.https://doi- org.su.idm.oclc.org


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Published On: 01-01-1970

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