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What Should A Care Plan for a Dementia Patient Include?

by Renee Marcus on 3/26/15 9:30 AM

If you have a loved one with dementia, you know how life-altering that can be not only for the patient, but for family members who care for them. Although care plans must be individually crafted, there are some basic needs that must be met for all those who suffer from this disorder whether they are being cared for in the home of a loved one or in a long-term care facility.

caring for a dementia patient

  1. Importance of communication:

    Dementia sufferers have short attention spans. When talking to them, remove distractions. Turn off the television. Shut the door. Maintain eye contact while you are speaking. Identify yourself even if you do not expect to be recognized. Ask one question at a time and keep the questions simple. If you are giving instructions, give them step-by-step. Not all at once.
  2. Dealing with unusual and unexpected behavior:

    Those with dementia often suffer personality changes. They exhibit unexpected behavior that is difficult to change. It is better to adjust yourself and accommodate the behavior if possible. For example, if your loved one chooses to sleep on the floor, instead of arguing, make the floor a comfortable place to sleep.
  3. Roaming or wandering:

    Dementia patients often wander away from their residences whether they are being cared for in the home of a loved one or in a long-term care facility. Although it appears to be a.imless, wandering often means your loved one is looking for someone or trying to find something to eat or drink. Be patient, not angry. Also, provide protection. Install protective locks. Have an alarm system that will alert you if someone leaves your home and goes outside. Be sure your loved one wears an ID bracelet with your phone number at all times. If they do wander off, when they are found, you will be notified.
  4. Providing adequate nutrition:

    For some reason, dementia patients forget about eating. Establish a routine and provide regular meals at the same time every day. Several smaller meals may be better than three big ones. Do not criticize sloppy eating habits. Eat with your loved one and make mealtime pleasant.
  5. Hygiene:

    Dementia patients generally have to be reminded to brush their teeth, bathe, change their clothes. Establish the routine your loved one had before the disorder became apparent. Respect your loved one's privacy, but monitor their hygiene and do not leave them to perform these tasks without assistance.

Sources:
http://dementia-care-notes.in/caregivers/plan-the-care
https://caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors

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