An elderly man is brought to the emergency room after being found wandering around at night. The patient is disoriented and does not know where or who he is. After the patient's identity is confirmed, his wife is called into the hospital. The wife expresses concern over the patient's progressing dementia and states she is worried about caring for her husband. Which of the following responses is best?

"What part of taking care of your husband is most concerning?"


• Remember: assessment first. The nurse should use open-ended questions and encourage the expression of feelings and concerns without suggesting that they know what the patient or family members are thinking.

• First, determine what aspects of care are most concerning. The nurse should then individualize care based on patient and family needs.

• Incorrect: Assuming the patient needs a nursing home or that the wife needs support groups is inappropriate. The nurse should first address the wife's concerns before recommending options.

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