Hello to my colleagues in Geriatric care out there... this is such a great thread and am so glad to be able to participate. I am a Nurse Case Manager on a 26 bed acute care GeriPsychiatric Unit in the midwest. We happen to have a great group of team members (Key element Team!!!). Care delivery to memory impaired individuals, who often present with a variety of co-morbidities common to the aging population is a challenging but very rewarding field. I believe that all persons are worthy of human dignity, respect and compassion. Can you imagine what it would be like to hear the news of someone's death (mother, husband, etc, as described above) as new information every time!
How horrible that would be. I find that judicious use of low dose antipsychotics and low doses of mood stabilizers povide better relief of restless wandering and late afternoon agitated behaviors. I agree that entering that person's reality is the way to interact with these persons, for it is often impossible for them to be in ours. I recently joined the NGNA, and they have a great journal that comes with your dues, and super meetings. Also, APNA's convention in Dallas in going to have an entire Gero track for those involved in this specialized care delivery model.
Thanks for letting me share.