If someone you love suddenly has an altered mental state it can be very distressing for those around them. Listen to the audio recording of Ted’s daughter. The text of the script for this audio file is provided below.
Script for audio recording of Ted’s daughter:
Researcher: Tell me what it’s like visiting your Dad at the moment?
Therese: Oh it’s awful – it’s just so depressing… and like that I hate even saying that… saying that feels like a betrayal of this man who cared for me when Mum died – Mum died when I was 9 you know that makes you- well it did in our case- it made us very close all our lives. He was… I mean he is a good man but I don’t know I just don’t know how to deal with him. I don’t know what way he’ll be on a day and I dread it. it’s not a kind thing to say but I dread visiting him.
Researcher: So it’s very stressful then?
Therese: I actually… I actually, I didn’t come yesterday. I’d just had such a day and I thought I can’t do that tonight. But then I lay there all night thinking – what if he went – what if that was it – in the night and I’d never see him again. I felt guilty then all night so I won’t do that again. But how do you know what to say when he says that he’s lost all his money or that I’ve stolen his money…. And you know I don’t think he was ever comfortable when he let me have power of attorney. We got that set up but he was always so independent – that was a big thing for him. And you know I think it’s caused him anxiety ever since. But he thinks I’ve stolen his money and you think – what if the hospital – what if they think I have – but then who’d believe him anyway- Laughs – I suppose they won’t throw me in jail yet!
Researcher: What do you know about what’s going on with him?
Therese: Well it’s not good – it doesn’t take a doctor to see that, I mean he’s gone downhill awful quick and there’s just no way he’s going to be able to go back to the sheltered housing – they’re not set up for that… I mean for his needs there at all. They haven’t told me much about him, I suppose they don’t know what’s going on with him either?
Researcher: Do you think there is any chance that he might improve?
Therese: Well do you? They don’t normally get better from this dementia do they? I don’t think so. What do you think?
What did you notice about Ted’s daughter’s comments?
- She feels very guilty about what has happened to her dad
- She is very worried about the future
- She sees no hope for him in this condition – she has no understanding of the temporary nature of at least some of his symptoms
- She has withdrawn from visiting regularly and dreads visiting because she doesn’t know how to respond to him or what to expect on a given day.
Write up Nurse Interventions
Given this understanding of Therese’s feelings write up nursing interventions necessary for the care of relatives of people with delirium.
Include your interventions in your portfolio.