A Day With the Ramírez Family
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People act in different ways when they learn that they need to make lifestyle changes to lower their chances of getting heart disease. Let's see how the Ramírez family acts when they get the news about their risk.
Mariano: “I don't really care.”
Mariano learns that he is at risk for heart disease, but he is not concerned about it. He gets upset when reminded about changing his unhealthy habits. He has no intention of making changes for better health. “Whatever will be, will be,” claims Mariano.
Carmencita: “I am stuck.”
Carmencita is worried and depressed because she is aware of her chances of getting heart disease. She thinks about making changes but cannot get started. She feels trapped and is not motivated to take steps for better health. “You can bring a horse to water, but you can't make it drink,” ponders Carmencita.
Virginia: “I am making plans.”
Virginia learns that she is at risk for heart disease and thinks that she should get ready to make changes. Instead of just saying “I will start to make changes tomorrow,” she talks to her friends about the plan she has in mind. “Walking the walk is harder than talking the talk,” says Virginia.
Doña Fela: “I am taking action.”
Doña Fela learns that she is at risk for heart disease and quickly starts doing something about it. She goes to classes to learn how to improve her health. She practices what she learns. She feels confident and cheerful. Doña Fela makes simple changes and helps others to do the same. “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure,” says Doña Fela.
Néstor: “I stay on the healthy path.”
Néstor is making changes and is motivated to stay on track to improve his health. He knows that it is easy to fall back to old habits. He makes plans to prevent setbacks and learns to start again if he needs to. He is positive toward life. He asks for help and does not give up. “Time is gold, and health is priceless,” says Néstor.
Now, please answer these questions:
- With which family member do you identify the most?
- What reasons do you have to make changes for better health?
- What are the barriers that keep you from making changes to improve your health?
- What can you do to overcome these barriers?
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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.
Last Updated March 2012