Such a diagnosis as dementia can come as a shock to any individual in the first place for the person with the condition and for the people around them. Sadly, dementia still remains an incurable disease, yet, there are sources of help and support for this syndrome and everyone who is involved with it.
It’s only natural to worry about the present and the future. The most important thing to consider is to understand that nobody is alone in this condition and dementia in-home care services will try to do their best to provide patients with all needed help and assistance.
Warning signs and symptoms of dementia
The rule of thumb states that early signs can be easily mistaken and overlooked not only by the potential patient themselves but even by the professionals from time to time. Both can commonly associate so-called “raw” symptoms, such as forgetfulness, misplacing items, and others, with age-related behavior.
In such cases, as practice shows, skilled and experienced nurses who have required training in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can provide quality medical care to track and manage the symptoms. Only a lot of experience in such a field can help truly understand the early signs and detect the origin of the illness and in the future provide all the essential help to the patient and prescribe individual treatment to lessen the progression of the symptoms.
Common warning signs and symptoms of dementia:
• Changes in short-term memory
• Poor decision-making
• Swift shifts of endeavor
• Difficulty completing basic or familiar tasks
• Mood and personality swings
How nurses provide care to patients with dementia
Within the great scope of older people in the population of the Earth, not only do the elderly have longer life expectancy, with more frequent cases of centenarians than before but also many continue their long life with chronic diseases that require constant check-ups and healthcare services. Consequently, the demand for more professional nursing and aid for dementia continues to grow.
In current times patients can only rely on care management in clinics or in-home care services such as Galaxy Home Care agency which specializes in dementia programs. Professionals with a high level of expertise take the burden of the family members and provide direct care to the patients in order to relieve stress and create a more comfortable environment.
Regarding nurses’ duties and responsibilities they fo as follows:
• Creation of a care plan and a daily routine;
• Assistance with patient self-care activities such as hygiene, eating, toileting, and exercise;
• Provision of care with routine for patients with significant cognitive impairment functioning;
• Assessment of patient’s safety;
• Avoidance of risks of injury;
• Management of behavior problems, anxiety, and anger;
• Encouragement of time for socialization.
Tips for working with patients with dementia
Clearly, nurses and other medical staff experience challenging situations and work in morally demanding conditions. Patience and understanding are crucial in both cases either in stagnation of disease or progression.
The key pieces of advice would be of high importance in the improvement of patient’s care and decreasing caregiver’s stress levels:
1. Distressful communication
Nurses must not make any assumptions about a patient’s ability to communicate and comprehend as the condition progresses. Usually, the symptoms of dementia affect each person differently. Most importantly, patients have to be treated with kindness and support:
• Eye contact and direct one-on-one interaction are great non-verbal communication techniques;
• Being gentle and offering assurance in moments of making mistakes or feeling embarrassment;
• Asking clear and straightforward questions requiring short and succinct answers;
• Zero interruption or arguments;
• Engagement in conversations in spaces without any distractions.
2. Routine and daily plan
Routine in conditions with dementia cannot be underestimated under no circumstances. A plan helps to reduce tension, anxiety, burn, and any types of pressure.
Nurses should get acquainted with patients, remembering about abilities, likes, and dislikes, considering the patient’s functions and break slots during the day. A plan includes basic times for morning and evening routines, meals, and bathing and must be flexible enough for the sake of adjustment.
The best plan is the one with some activities from the pre-dementia lives. For example, watching a TV show or movie or going for a walk around the neighborhood with assistance. With the progression of the disease, alterations must be introduced.
3. Support system and practice self-care
Having worked for the same patients with dementia over long periods of time, caregivers become personally attached. Thus, nurses may experience a range of emotions, such as guilt, anxiety, sadness, and even depression. Managing feelings in a professional environment is a must.
Many try to connect with other caretakers and join professional organizations. Through networking and spending time in the community caregivers can learn how to operate with feeling in the professional background, therefore increasing their chances of providing consistent and quality care.
4. Adequate preparation for the final stages of dementia
The pinnacle moment for the nursing care of dementia is the final stage. The critical situation is when patients experience practically complete memory loss, severe depression, hallucinations or even psychosis. Solely skilled nurses with extensive dementia knowledge could be cool, calm, and collected at these severe stages. When providing treatment to patients, nurses ought to help families prepare for the final days and the mourning times.
Many find it difficult to face these issues themselves, thus, experienced and knowledgeable nurses with proper training can support families in making important end-of-life decisions. Such nurses are able to facilitate conversations with family members about hiring attorneys and preparing required documents, for example, living wills, medical power of attorney, and end-of-life directives.
Additionally, caregivers provide emotional encouragement to family members and suggestions for preparing emotionally for the final stages.
Taking care of your dearest and nearest on your own with dementia conditions is nearly impossible, but with the aid of in-home care facilities, it becomes a less arduous task. Therefore, settling down with a company with a wide range of services and care programs will leave you with no doubts.