I am in awe of you psych nurses!
We have this 90-something y.o. admitted with phychosis. Her son 'knows' there is a physical/medical cause for this 'atypical' behavior. She is being treated with 10d course of triple IV antibx. for 'possible menengitis' (son refused LP on mom but read about this being a possible reason for altered mental status).
Her assisted living 'behaviors flow sheet' relieves us of any doubt about the 'suddenness' of the onset (we're talking 8 months).
Son refuses any/all sedatives without his permission. He is getting plenty of calls. He sometimes sits with her, and his voice calms her for a short time before he finally says, 'ok then, give it'.
She will have to go to a MHU for med changes just so she can even be placed in an Alzheimer's unit. I am so thankful for those of you who can empathize with/love/care for/advocate for these really needy people! I have a harder time with the son! Everyone else in the hospital, visitors and patients alike are disturbed (oh...the things she says!) by this poor thing, who's change in environment sure can't be helping!
Anyway......I sure appreciate you wonderful, patient, intellegent, creative, and loving souls!
Jul 12, '02
May I suggest that you inform the son that it is time for him to call a family meeting (if there are other family members involved), and ask the doctors and social workers to meet with them to discuss alternative treatments/care for his mother based on what he would like to see carried out for his mother.
The doctors need to be very straightforward with the son about his mother's health; social workers must contribute their assessment of the situation, and you...as her nurse...should also be involved in this round table discussion as a means to reach an agreeable option for your patient's care until her demise occurs.
Simply present the facts to the son at this meeting of the minds....let the social workers give their input as to options available.......maybe he will simply have to bite the bullet, and take his mother home to die......hiring a private duty nurse for her...round the clock if necessary.
Including him in this way, allows him to feel part of his mother's care without making him feel as if he is being cut off from the woman who gave birth and a mother's love to him all of his life.
Letting go is never easy for family members......especially when the one they must let go of is a parent. Healthcare professionals see that mother as a "patient" to be treated with their own expertise...which is all well and good.....BUT.....let's keep in mind that the family (the son in that patient's case) sees their father or mother in the way they use to be, the way they have become, and everything in between since the beginning of the children's lives. We will all have to cross that bridge one day of what to do with our dying parents. Many of you on this thread already have dealt with this situation. Hope this suggestion helps. :kiss
Last edit by live4today on Jul 12, '02