Case Study: The Careless Caregiver

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What could be worse than being diagnose with early stages of dementia at the end of retirement? Dementia is considered a decline in the mental ability that results in a poor quality daily life. About nine million American suffer from the progressive disease of dementia. Furthermore, half of the people diagnosed with dementia suffers from Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common type of dementia (Dementia Society of America, 2018). People who are suffering from dementia cannot make decisions for themselves anymore since the cognitive ability is impaired. Ideally, people should express their wishes related to the end of life while they can make the best decisions related to end of life care. One form to address their wishes is through a…show more content…
an English high school teacher. She was a single woman who never got married and lived at her home while she dedicated her life to teach in Pine Junction. Ms. Grace retired when she found out that she started to develop the early stages of dementia. She decided to move to Happy Valley Nursing Home when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. While Grace lived at Happy Valley, she demonstrated a joyful life. She enjoyed every gathering with others at Happy Valley. But, as the dementia disease progressed Grace became isolated. She was not the same person anymore because her communication skills decline every day more and more (Flanigan & Potter,…show more content…
This autonomy law states that people that are mentally competent can make future decisions concerning to their health (American Nurses Association, n.d.). In Grace’s case, autonomy was not respected because the nurse did not take into consideration the advance directive that she had stipulated before mental deterioration occurred. The administrator and the chief nurse had the obligation to make the advance directive of the patient effective. Likewise, they had the responsibility to advocate for the patient’s wishes. On the other hand, Grace’s surrogate who was her brother was contradicting with his first opinion to find out what was afflicting her. The brother did not take into consideration two important aspects at the time of making a decision related to her end of life care. First, the brother did not choose the will expressed by his sister and second he did not take into account the best option that could benefit Grace (Philipsen, Murray, Wood, Bell-Hawkins, & Setlow, 2013). In the advance directive Grace stated that “she did not want anything extraordinary to be done in the event that she was dying”. In this situation the nurse, social worker, spiritual counselor, or ethics committee could have guided the surrogate in taking the best decision that could benefit the patient’s wishes. It is extremely important for nurses to provide patient canter care. One way to

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