An elderly client’s wife tells a nurse she is concerned because her husband insists on talking about past events. The nurse assesses the client and finds him alert, oriented, and responsive to questions. Which statement should the nurse make to the client’s wife?

  • “Your husband is choosing to live in a happier time in his life.”
  • “Redirect your husband to speak about current events when he begins regressing into the past.”
  • “If he were my husband, I would call our minister to speak to him.”
  • “Your husband is reflecting on his life. This is normal at his age.”
Number 4 is correct.
Reminiscing is a common occurrence by the elderly. The nurse should confirm this behavior with the client’s wife. Redirecting the husband to speak on current events interferes with the normal pattern of reminiscing. Stating what you would do is contraindicated when interacting with the client’s wife. Additionally, this statement assumes the client’s wife is involved in organized religion.