Dementia

forget me notAs an adult nurse, dementia is something that you will come across potentially on a daily basis. As the population is ageing dementia is becoming more prevalent. Here are a few tips about caring for patients with dementia.

Whilst caring for patients with dementia it is vitally important to maintain their dignity. Patients with dementia often have no inhibitions and will not think twice about taking their clothes off in a crowded ward. It is therefore important to have eyes like a hawk in order to decrease the frequency of these moments!

Another important factor is supporting the families of the patient. Often, a lot of families do not understand the condition and they can find it quite frightening. Also, the patient may need extra help on discharge so this is important to sort out.

You need to get to know the patient and get to know their personalities. This will ensure you can work out the best tactics to approach the patient and ensuring they are not startled. Find out about their lives and families so if they keep repeating a name you know who they are referring to!

Hospitals have a document called ‘Forget Me Not’ that has areas for families to fill in about the patients’ lives, families, likes and dislikes among many other things. This is a really useful document.

It may also be useful to get patients’ families to bring in photos for the patient to look at or their favourite activity. This will help to keep the patient occupied.

Also make sure the patient is wearing the correct glasses and hearing aid (if applicable) as the patient may not remember they wear them! This may be the reason why they are shouting!

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