Focus Topics

topic 1 | Activity 2: Betty’s story

Betty is a 79-year-old woman married to Alan, also 79.   Betty and Alan have a close family network; their daughter, Cheryl, has two young boys and they see each other regularly.

Two years ago Betty was diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) following routine tests organised by her GP.  Betty has multiple comorbidities including: diabetes type II, ischemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.  She also has hypertension and had a myocardial infarction two years ago.

Her kidney disease has been fairly stable since diagnosis.  Betty has been well managed by her GP in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team at the renal clinic.

The renal dietician has been providing nutritional information and support to Betty and Alan, in particular educating them about the impact of certain foods on her kidney function.

For the past month or so, Betty has been experiencing new symptoms.  She is lethargic, slightly short of breath, nauseated at times and her legs are oedematous.  Betty is concerned about these new symptoms and is seeing her team at the renal clinic tomorrow to discuss this.

  1. What does Betty raise as her main concerns?
  2. What goals of care might be identified following Betty’s discussion?
  3. Which health professionals do you think would need to be part of the multidisciplinary team that cares for Betty as her disease progresses?