Special Care Considerations Needed for Dementia Patients in Nursing Homes
When your loved one has dementia, you may entrust their care to the professionals in a nursing home. This way, they can be around experienced doctors, nurses, and other caring staff who know how to give your loved one the quality of life they deserve. It’s important to look for a nursing home that can provide your loved one with the care they need. In order to make sure the home is right for your loved one, you should know about the special care considerations needed for dementia patients in nursing homes.
What Kinds of Special Care Do Dementia Patients Need?
Dementia patients need care that takes the risks and possible situations that could arise into consideration and still provide them with care that gives them a high quality of life. This takes dedicated and experienced staff who are compassionate and ready to help your loved one.
One of the risks that could affect a dementia patient is unsafe wandering. It’s important to understand that if patients aren’t a fall risk, they can be encouraged to move about at their choice. Residents are allowed to go where they want at their nursing home. The resident’s ability to move safely includes having clear paths to walk, adequate lighting, and security measures to prevent them from leaving the premises.
If these measures aren’t taken, it increases the chance that a patient could fall. Senior fall injuries can be devastating and it can take a long time for seniors to heal. There’s an increased risk of their injury becoming infected and they get sick, which can be fatal.
Staff should also understand what may cause wandering. A resident may want to be social, be in search of sustenance, or they could be trying to get away from something in the environment. Providing social opportunities, regular meal and snack times, and being aware of possible irritants in an environment that could make them want to leave.
Dementia patients may become agitated by certain triggers and can’t communicate what is bothering them. For example, a study showed the dementia patients that have more privacy are less likely to express anxiety and aggression. It may be best for your loved one to have their own room that’s their space.
There are a number of specialized therapies that are non-pharmaceutical and can enhance a dementia patient’s life. With a balance of these therapies, it could reduce the need for medication that may help your loved one, but make them lethargic.
- Behavior Therapy: stimulus control and cognitive behavioral therapy could help your loved one.
- Medical Care: Your loved one’s care plan could include sleep therapy, bright light therapy, and pain management.
The staff should also be trained in providing care with dementia patients. This includes understanding that the patient may not communicate their needs, could have outbursts or become agitated when they’re uncomfortable, and to better understand the patient’s emotional needs.
What If Your Loved One Isn’t Getting Proper Care?
You may find that your loved one’s nursing home isn’t capable of providing your loved one with the care they need, and in some cases, this could mean your loved one is being neglected.
Nursing homes may not be able to give each resident the individual attention and care they deserve. As a result, seniors may miss meal times, not get the assistance they need to use the bathroom or even leave their room, and could also miss medication doses.
If a senior is unable to move and also isn’t able to see staff regularly, they could also feel isolated and afraid. Feeling cut off drastically decreases quality of life.
There’s also a chance that abuse is occurring. If a negligent nursing home isn’t able to properly take care of their residents, they may use chemical restraints to maintain control. This means your loved one may be overmedicated, which could make them lethargic and not themselves.
If your loved one isn’t getting the care they need and you suspect neglect or abuse is occurring, you can seek justice for your loved one. Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, can help.
Seek Legal Options Today
Your loved one deserves to live in an environment where they can thrive. Unfortunately, some nursing homes may not be able to provide them with the care they need. That’s where a nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm in Jackson, Mississippi can help. Reach out to our office today for an obligation-free consultation where we can discuss your options and how to fight for your loved one.
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