The clinic nurse is seeing a client who suffers from caregiver strain due to caring for her elderly parents who have dementia and live with her. Which action by the nurse during the assessment is most important?

  1. ask the client about her support systems
  2. ask the client what she does for relaxation
  3. ask if her parents’ insurance covers adult day care for them
  4. offer to give her a list of nursing homes to care for her parents
Number 1 is correct.
The most important information for the nurse to find out is what support systems the client has available. The nurse must remember that this information is key in order to know how to approach the client and how to plan care. If the client has few or no support systems, the priority is to help her find resources to help her. Asking the client what she does for relaxation is little help if she has no support system. Asking about her parents’ insurance coverage for adult day care may be an option to explore down the road, but it takes a back seat to determining the client’s support systems. Offering a list of nursing homes is not appropriate at this time and does not offer timely help with her situation. Once the nurse understands the client’s support systems, she can make appropriate decisions on where to proceed next.