Although many individuals care for loved ones who are dealing with Alzheimer’s, seeking professional assistance in the western world is fairly common. For over 25 years, the Alzheimer’s Association has been improving and enhancing care for those in need.
If you visit a residential nursing home, over 50 percent of residents typically suffer from some form of dementia. Since Alzheimer’s is the most common form, prevalence is fairly high. When utilizing nursing care, residencies tend to provide effective caring solutions, focusing on a person-centered approach.
Nursing Priority Care Areas
The Alzheimer’s Association has chosen three areas in which they view as priority in order to improve one’s quality of life. By focusing on key areas, effective strategies can be implemented. The following priority areas are highly encouraged within nursing care.
Food and Fluid Consumption
As Alzheimer’s symptoms progress, issues with eating become increasingly common. This often leads to weight-loss, contributing to symptoms such as poor mood and confusion. In order to support one’s well-being, they require essential nutrients and plenty of fluids.
Within nursing care, screenings measures are put into place in order to ensure nutritional care. By monitoring what individuals are eating, it’s easier to determine whether or not deficiencies are a concern. The same is true with hydration as the brain and body require plenty of water to function.
Since there are so many factors that can affect meal time, it’s important that the eating experience is pleasant. Being forceful isn’t a recommended approach. Instead, staff are often encouraged to interact with patients, supporting healthy eating habits. Nurses are also trained in order to reduce issues associated with meal time.
When people are diagnosed with dementia, pain isn’t something that’s typically recognized as a symptom. The truth is, pain is under-recognized and therefore, under-treated. When pain is not treated, it can make behavioral symptoms worse.
Sometimes, individuals struggle to communicate that they’re in pain and this leads to necessary psychotropic medications. Nurses actively target any associated pain so that individuals can improve their quality of life. The key is treating pain based on an individual’s personal needs.
When it comes to positive dementia care, social engagement should not be underestimated. When residents take part in group activities, for instance, they tend to better maintain various functional abilities. These types of activities can improve one’s quality of life and increase personal meaning.
Planning Your Loved One’s Treatment Plan
If you plan on reaching out for support and professional care, it’s important to work with nursing staff to meet your loved one’s needs. You should work as a team with nursing staff, creating potential solutions to specific issues surrounding your loved one’s well-being.
When building a treatment plan, you should focus on your loved one’s abilities and strengths so that these abilities can be maintained for the longest possible amount of time. As their symptoms progress, their treatment plan needs to be continually reevaluated in order to meet their changing needs.
Alzheimer’s Association. Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for Assisted Living Residents and Nursing Homes. Campaign for Quality Residential Care. Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_DCPRphases1n2.pdf