Dementia care by Cynthia Steele

By Cynthia Steele

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Get medical consult. Yes No Do body audit to identify possible cause; look for bruising, tight clothing, too many layers, wearing someone else’s clothes that don’t fit, rumpled sheets causing skin breakdown. Yes Check vital signs; listen to lungs; review recent lab results; blood sugar. Figure 2-3 Suggested approach to evaluating cause of delirium. See possible pain Possible infection? No Seek help in finding the cause of delirium. 24 Nurse to Nurse: Dementia Care • Usually occurs early in the course of dementia • Somatic complaints “My back hurts!

A better approach would be to accept the patient’s reality. Caregiving Basics 55 In this case, try to encourage the patient to make a snack for the children or inquire how many children the patient has. Remember that the feelings each patient is experiencing are real. Accepting these feelings is essential, whether or not they make sense. Many disputes can be avoided if a nurse recognizes that he or she cannot force the patient into the present. Be Flexible Flexibility is one of the most important approaches to dementia care.

Poor response: Your parents aren’t coming. They would have to be 120 years old. You know they are dead. Stop being uncooperative! MANIA Mania Defined Mania is rare in persons with dementia, but when present it causes significant care challenges. Manic patients are at risk of harm from others if they get physically close, speak to, or touch other people. Common features of mania: • State of increased mood or euphoria • Less need for sleep and food • Overactivity, talking too much too quickly Common Complications of Dementia 31 • Increased sense of self-importance: “I am the King” • Irritability • Hypersexuality, inappropriately touching others, staff or peers • Getting too close to others, invading their personal space Care of Manic Patients !

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