According to Alzheimer’s Society 2014, most people with dementia in the UK live at home with their families. Nevertheless, because of the difficulties associated with dementia, families often call for nursing care through nurses’ aid.
Usually, these nurses get to respond to requests for support and advice from family careers.
At the same time, nurses generally often have to manage patients’ co-existing health problems and assist with personal care.
Although most people with dementia live independently or with little support, some may need hospice services to help deal with their condition.
Their condition may make it relevant for nurses with expertise in hospice care to have full access to dementia patients.
Well, this article will provide an up-to-date view of what dementia looks like and how we can treat it.
Recognizing Dementia Through Nursing Care
Nurses have an essential role to play in recognizing dementia. This role involves observation and report of any potential signs of underlying dementia.
However, according to studies, although early diagnosis gives room for better treatment and advanced decision-making, the condition is currently underdiagnosed.
More so, the assessment process is complicated. This is primarily because of mixed factors – like being in unfamiliar environments, constipation (which can lead to delirium), high temperature, and depression. They also can have overlapping symptoms that can be easily misinterpreted.
In addition, if a patient is withdrawn, seems lonely, anxious, has no appetite, is agitated, and asks the same questions repeatedly, the signs could be the point to delirium or depression as well as dementia.
Difficult End-of-Life Decisions For A Person With Dementia
Dementia leads to a gradual loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning abilities. This means people who want to provide supportive care at the end of life find it challenging to do. As already hinted, the reason is that people with advanced dementia find it very difficult to communicate clearly.
Similarly, some others may not even be able to share their concerns.
For instance, is Uncle Matt refusing food because he’s not hungry or because he is confused? Why does Grandma Bells seem agitated? Is she in distress and needs medication to relieve it but can’t tell you?
As these dementia conditions progress, caregivers often find it difficult to provide emotional or spiritual comfort.
For example, ask yourself – How do I make peace with my mother if she no longer knows who I am? Likewise, someone who has severe memory loss might not take spiritual comfort from sharing family memories.
Similarly, the person will not understand when others express this crucial part of their life this person has been involved with.
Allow the Nursing Care To Help Dementia Patients
If a patient is diagnosed with delirium, any underlying physical problem must be addressed urgently (for example, antibiotics are used to treat any underlying infection).
In the same manner, patients who are depressed should be offered psychosocial interventions such as antidepressant medication, befriending, and psychological therapy.
Also, if a patient has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, they will usually be offered anti-dementia medication. The hospice team offering nursing care should also make dementia-friendly adjustments to their approach and the environment.
You or the person in charge of your decision-making should take this action whether the patient is in a care home or a hospital.
Caregivers looking after patients with deadly dementia-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s patients encounter various hardship challenges. The variety of care associated with caring for dementia patients includes:
- Providing emotional or spiritual comfort.
- Making plans for the end of life.
- Focusing on advanced directives.
AmeriprimeHospice Care knows that making plans for the end of life is a delicate responsibility of a caregiver.
A good caregiver needs to keep in mind both the disability of the patient and their desires about end-of-life decisions.
Schedule an appointment or call today if you or someone you know has memory problems related to a possible dementia issue. We have helped thousands regain their daily functions and ways.