By Rohit Agarwal
Dementia is a series of mental illnesses, sadly most of which are seen as incurable. One of the most commonly found dementia case is Alzheimer’s, which comprises of about 75% of all dementia patients. Dementia has a direct effect on a person’s ability to think and reason. It also affects the patient’s short term memory and basic problem solving. It is thus important for nurses involved with the care of dementia patients to be well aware of the patient’s needs and should be able to handle all situations without making the patient feel the loss of control. Here are some tips for a Specialist Dementia Nurse while taking care of patients.
1. Home Care Is A Must
It is common for a dementia patient to feel depressed due to the loss of control. Moving the patient to a nursing facility or a care home can often worsen, not solve, the patient’s condition. Dementia patients are often prone to depression and might feel alienated in foreign environments and the lack of interaction with the loved ones. With home care the patient might feel more confident of his/her surroundings and with a specialist dementia nurse to assist with the daily tasks can often result in the patient’s recovery.
2. Knowing About The Patient’s Condition Acutely
As the nurse is appointed for the patient’s care and basic needs, it is the nurse’s duty to read the patient’s reports properly and know about the patient as much as possible by talking to the family and friends. This makes sure that the nurse knows about the patient’s behavior and habits. Dementia patients can often be moody and would need the care and counseling in a proper way to uplift their mood. An experienced specialist dementia nurse knows the patients needs and behavioral patterns to deal with them properly.
3. Reassurance To The Patient
Sadly, as most cases of dementia are incurable, the patients often tend to lose hope and need counseling and uplifting words of reassurance. A Specialist Dementia nurse must be well aware of the patient’s proneness to mood swings and tend to the matter immediately. Providing the patient with prompt attention and making the patient feel in control can boost the patient’s mood and confidence to a great degree. Providing the patient with some of his/her favorite objects, or a conversation with a patient about the patient’s favorite topics can vastly affect the patient’s mental health in a good way.
4. Patient’s Meals
When dealing with dementia patients, it is important that with the administration of special medicines, special meals must be provided to the patients. Many a times the dementia patients need to be reminded of their meal times due to the disease’s effects on their memory. A nurse might also need to assist the patients in taking their meals as due to the effects on the brain, the patient’s motor functions might not work properly. A specialist dementia nurse should know exactly about the patient’s condition and prepare meals according to the patient’s needs and liking.
5. Assistance To The Physician
One of the most basic and the most important role of the nurse is to assist the doctor or physician in keeping an accurate record of the patient’s condition. If the patient is kept under medical observation, the nurse or the care giver must keep an acute watch on every notable change in the patient’s vital statistics. Heart rate, temperature and pulse etc. must be noted at regular intervals by the nurse. As the nurse is tasked with the care of the patients, they are more comfortable and cooperative with their nurse being around during medical inspections and administration of medicines etc.
Caring for Dementia Patients is not an easy task as it requires high levels of patience and experience. The Specialist Dementia nurses know the patient’s condition and behavior in and out and build a deep rapport with the patient. Taking care of the dementia patient’s basic needs and requirements, involves special training.
Rohit Agarwal is a keen reader of medicinal and healthcare blogs and literature. He has also written several articles related to the field of healthcare and medical science and is the current contributor for FindCNAClasses. Please visit findcnaclasses.com to learn about CAN training and online courses.
EDITOR: While most practitioners in the medical industry view dementia as incurable, new evidence is starting to give new hope to those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and it starts with getting plenty of restorative sleep and good nutrition. New research shows that normal sleep-wake patterns actually help regulate levels of Beta-amyloid, a protein that’s found in the brain. With short sleep, it tends to form into clusters and eventually into plaque that is the telltale sign of Alzheimer’s. A new study in mice finds that brains flush toxic waste during sleep, including beta-amyloid.
Working with a Ph.D. sleep consultant at Intelligent Sleep in Austin, I’ve seen some amazing results of using their nutritional program to improve memory and cell health in the brain. Mark has an early and life-changing success story. He was a prominent attorney until his memory started fading and he was kicked out of the law firm he founded, got divorced from his wife, and lost contact with his children. Before the nutritional program, Mark was diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic as having early onset Alzheimer’s. He was living with his mom in her attic apartment but was motivated to get better, so he started using the brain fitness program, Lumosity. Unfortunately, after there was no improvement, and after several months he still tested in the one percentile (at the very bottom of the scale). That’s when Bruce and Ken started working with him.
The program they put him on involved insulin signaling to help glucose absorption and cell metabolism, as well as iron chelation to get rid of accumulated iron in the neurons. Of course the program also called for plenty of sleep. Six months later, Mark was testing in the 50-some percentile on Lumosity and had improved to the point that he moved into his own apartment, and Mayo rescinded their diagnosis, saying he no longer showed signs of Alzheimer’s. Today he tests in the 70-some percentile, shows continued improvement, and is a strong advocate for the sleep and nutrition program that Intelligent Sleep put him on.
While it’s way too early to call this program a cure for Alzheimer’s, it does so early promise, and it surely can’t hurt.