Assessment of mental status
Mildred, 65 years old, is brought to the clinic by her son. He reports that his mother has had a gradual but progressive worsening in behavior over the last 6 months. Mildred has a past medical history of congestive heart failure, but she has been socially active and able to maintain her home without much help from family. She is taking digoxin daily; her digoxin level is normal. Her son states that lately, “she doesn’t keep the house clean and most days she isn’t dressing.” When he mentions bathing, Mildred protests that she does not need a bath. She has had some weight loss, and her clothes are becoming too large. She has not been cooking or attending her weekly bridge game as before. The son mentions he is very concerned because he works full time and there is no other family nearby to assist his mother.
Discuss assessment data that suggests altered mental health in the patient. What further questions would you ask Mildred or her son to clarify their needs for resources or access to further care?
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