Supporting a Safe Environment
Alzheimer’s disease is a condition with increasing incidence in our population. There is no
differential diagnosis, so the onset of the disease may go unnoticed by others. By the time a
person reaches the moderate stage of the disease, manifestations are quite apparent to
others and the required level of care often places tremendous strain on the caregiver.
Caregiver role strain is a nursing diagnosis that is frequently applied in the situation.
Answer the following Questions:
1- Since patient wandering and confusion are common for the person with moderate-to-
severe Alzheimer’s disease, what would the RN teach the family about maintaining a safe
environment? Provide three examples.
2- How would the RN adjust the teaching based on the family’s educational level,
socioeconomic status or culture? Provide two examples
3- What are common symptoms of caregiver role strain?
4- Provide one nursing diagnosis statement (statement must include an actual nursing
diagnosis, related factor and as evidenced by) that may be appropriate for a patient with
moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease.
SUPPORTING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT 2
Provision of a safe environment for the Alzheimerâ€™s disease patients is essential as
the initial step in the management of their condition. It is the responsibility of the RN to provide
sufficient teachings to the patients and the family on safety tips and the intervention techniques
adopted to handle the disease (Townsend, 2015). Encouraging the members of the family to
ensure the patient is granted the independence to safeguard his/her safety and that of others is
one teaching provided by RN. Supporting the person’s needs by encouraging social interaction
while also ensuring safety devices such as fire extinguishers are working is another vital teaching
provided by RN to enhance the safe environment for the patient. Stressing on the importance of
diet by instructing on the number of foods served on the plate to prevent the patient from having
troubles making a decision is vital measures taught by the RN (Townsend, 2015). Creation of a
routine for the activities that the patients takes place in is essential in helping them to avoid
The RN is supposed to ensure the teachings are tailored to the cultural, educational level
and the socioeconomic status of the specific patient and their families. The intellectual ability of
the patient and the family is a crucial factor where the nurse should not talk them down (Kee et
al, 2015). An example is the use of simplified language and oral education rather than using
teaching materials such as PowerPoint and handbooks in case the patient and the family have
low education level. Based on the socioeconomic status the RN should adjust the teaching by
first helping the family and the patient to handle the challenges before imposing additional stress
of adopting a new skill or learning new information concerning safety (Townsend, 2015).
Ensuring no one stereotyped and safeguarding the cultural values and interests of the patients
during teaching is vital.
SUPPORTING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT 3
Depression and feeling guilty is one symptom of the caregiver strain. It occurs due to
their perceived ability to perform the roles effectively due to various challenges thus leading to
the depression of the caregiver. Physical and emotional exhaustion is another common indicator
of care give role strain. Anxiety and stress that can lead to sickness are symptoms that show the
strain of the caregiver who perceives his/her efforts to be fruitless and thus demoralized and
hopelessness results (Kee et al, 2015). The use of tests such as hippocampal atrophy to detect the
memory loss which is a major symptom among other through brain imaging and blood tests is a
differential diagnosis for the disease.
SUPPORTING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT 4
Kee, J., Hayes, E., & McCuistion, L. (2015). Pharmacology: A nursing process approach (8th
ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
Townsend, M.C. (2015). Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-
Based Practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.