Ineffective Household Maintenance Behaviors

Ineffective Household Maintenance Behaviors

Introduction for Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Household Maintenance Behaviors

Nursing assessment of the home and its environment allows nurses to identify situations that may disrupt a family’s ability to adhere to an effective household maintenance system. Ineffective household maintenance behaviors are not addressing subsequent needs of the family such as preparing meals, conducting necessary repairs, and general cleaning. This can lead to the creation of an environment that is unsafe and unhealthy.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Ineffective Household Maintenance Behaviors: Patterns of behavior that do not provide or maintain safe and hygienic living conditions in the home environment.

Defining Characteristics


  • Complaints about a lack of cleanliness in the home
  • Concerns about safety due to improper home environmental hazards
  • Expressions of feeling overwhelmed/sad regarding inability to keep up with household duties


  • Delays in necessary home repairs
  • Evidence of ineffective processes related to house cleaning, cooking, and caregiving
  • Accumulation of clutter
  • Inadequate storage of food, medications, or hazardous materials

Related Factors

  • Insufficient supplies to properly maintain the home environment
  • Insufficient time for complete daily tasks
  • Lack of knowledge/skills necessary for effective productive activities
  • Physical impairment or illness resulting in decreased mobility, strength, or fatigue
  • Altered mental status/cognitive impairment

Risk Population

Families with inadequate finances, resource deficits, and overcrowded accommodations may have difficulty meeting the housing or home maintenance needs of their family.

Associated Problems

  • Combustion hazards
  • Home sanitation deficiencies
  • Infection potential
  • Alcohol and other drug abuse
  • Unmet nutritional needs
  • Family conflicts

Suggestions for Use

To improve household maintenance behaviors, the nurse can help to develop problem solving strategies to address deficits and recognize family strengths. Planning and prioritizing needs, scheduling and allocating resources, and increasing knowledge of essential household tasks are important factors in changing behaviors to meet household needs.

Suggested Alternative Nanda Diagnoses

  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Caregiver Role Strain
  • Knowledge Deficit [Learning Need] related to Household Tasks
  • Risk for Injury related to Environmental Hazards

Useful Tips

  • Allow the family sufficient time to complete tasks.
  • Establish a clear list of expectations and results.
  • Assist the family to develop a schedule for household tasks.
  • Check for understanding when teaching about household tasks.
  • Identify strategies and resources to meet needs.
  • Provide anticipatory guidance about hazards and safety measures.
  • Encourage the family to identify and utilize support systems.

NOC Results

  • Environmental Maintenance: Effective use of family resources, including money, to enable family members to live in a safe and orderly home.
  • Environmental Safety: Maintaining a safe home environment through implementation of safety measures.
  • Nutrition Management: Accuracy of measurements related to the preparation of food.
  • Home Management: Performs tasks to maintain a home and promote the physical, social and emotional well-being of family.
  • Parenting: Provision of age appropriate safety practices that protect children in the home environment.

NIC Interventions

  • Environmental Management: Assisting the family to identify available resources and prioritize needs.
  • Safety Education: Teaching the family strategies to prevent injury and illness.
  • Activity Therapy: Utilizing games or physical activities to learn strategies for home management.
  • Horticulture/Food Production: Involvement in gardening/farming as relating to food production and food safety.
  • Household Repairs: Supporting development of self-help skills related to performing simple household maintenance tasks.
  • Conservation Practice: Encouraging the family to reduce waste and engage in recycling and composting.


In order to provide optimal health care services and ensure the well-being of families, nurses must ensure that families are able to provide a clean and safe home environment. Nurses are able to assess, plan and implement interventions to increase a family’s ability to maintain their home environment. By identifying and utilizing existing resources, determining methods for successful completion of home care activities, and providing education to the family, nurses can help to improve the family’s ability to appropriately manage their home environment.


Q1: What is NANDA nursing diagnosis?

A: NANDA nursing diagnosis is a standardized classification of clinical judgments of health issues, such as “Ineffective Household Maintenance Behaviors”, utilized by nurses to determine goals, individualize care plans, and make informed clinical decisions.

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