- Journal of Gerontological Nursing
- April 2012 - Volume 38 · Issue 4: 47-54
Individuals with cognitive impairment often represent a significant percentage of the residents in a nursing home nurse’s care. With years of experience caring for their placed family members, caregivers of these residents are often experts in knowing the resident’s needs, habits, behaviors, and moods. Caregivers often wish to convey this insider knowledge to nursing home staff. Furthermore, communication with caregivers promotes trust that personalized, safe, and effective care occurs when they are not there. Based on an interpretive study of the experiences of caregivers who place a family member with Alzheimer’s disease in the nursing home, six preferred patterns of communication are presented in this article. The six patterns are represented by the acronym TALKKK (tell them; ask them; listen to them; know their family member by relating and communicating; be knowledgeable about dementia, its progression, dementia-specific care, and commonly used medications; and share that knowledge with them).
Dr. Palmer is Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St. Louis, Missouri.
The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. Dr. Palmer acknowledges support from the John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity program (predoctoral scholar 2007–2009). She also acknowledges the support of recruitment efforts by the Alzheimer’s Association, Saint Louis Chapter; and the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University (P50AG005681 and the Healthy Aging and Senile Dementia Study P01AG003991). Dr. Palmer was a participant in the 2011 National League for Nursing (NLN) Foundation Scholarly Writing Retreat sponsored by the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education.
Address correspondence to Janice L. Palmer, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, 3525 Caroline Mall, Room 517, St. Louis, MO 63104; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received: March 12, 2011
Accepted: November 23, 2011
Posted: February 15, 2012