How to care for Alzheimer's patients
Published 11/23/21 Written by Caring Nurses | Last updated on April 13, 2023
As a nurse, there are always new challenges to face. Some diseases are more complex than others, and nursing requires a diverse skill set to adapt to various patient needs. In Connecticut, the nursing shortage has made it even more critical to have qualified nurses with the necessary knowledge and experience. It is essential to understand the different conditions we face because we must follow a specific path depending on this. This article will share some tips to keep in mind when caring for patients with Alzheimer's.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, "Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms." Pediatric nursing and school nursing also require specific training and expertise to provide care to children and adolescents, respectively.
Alzheimer's disease consists essentially of the death of specific neurons in the cerebral cortex gradually and progressively. Neuronal death with a cause not definitively clarified is called neurodegeneration. For this reason, Alzheimer's disease is considered a neurodegenerative disease, and nurses in all fields of nursing must stay up-to-date on the latest research and best practices for caring for patients with this condition.
Tips to consider about caring an Alzheimer's patient
It is vital that you learn about the disease. When you talk to a doctor, ask all the questions you have, especially about the progression of the disease and the treatment options that best relieve symptoms. The more information you have, the better you can help. Keeping in touch with patient associations and support groups is highly recommended for both the affected person and the caregiver and is an excellent way to get to know in-depth what is happening.
In people with Alzheimer's disease, there is a progressive difficulty in carrying out daily tasks and an increasingly manifest inability to make decisions about their life and care. This situation causes the people who take care of these patients an overload of care when having to satisfy continuous demands. Do not feel overwhelmed; instead, try to stay calm and take a deep breath when you need it.
Establish a daily routine. Some tasks, such as bathing or medical appointments, are more manageable when the person is more alert and rested. Allow some flexibility for spontaneous activities or challenging days.
Make daily tasks easier
Some tasks seem very easy, but activities such as getting dressed, preparing clothes in advance, and keeping the closet well organized are hard to develop. In these cases, try to think of a way to make it easier and overcome difficulties.
Avoid unfamiliar situations
Avoid crowds, changes in routine, and strange places. These situations may cause confusion or agitation.
Take care of yourself
It is essential that you think about yourself too. Caring for someone requires physical strength to resist the care and attention, especially Alzheimer's patients. How long would you hold out if you don't give yourself time to rest, sleep, or take a break? Remember that you have to be in optimal conditions to be a better caregiver.
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