Role of nurses in treating people diagnosed with dementia

Role of Nurses in Treating People Diagnosed with Dementia 1
Role of Nurses in Treating People Diagnosed with Dementia 2
There are diverse clinical settings that nurses or medical officers can work in. As a result,
they find themselves working with people that have different conditions as well as diseases.
There is however different competencies, capabilities, and skills that a nurse should acquire
before dealing with particular conditions such as dementia. Dementia is not a particular disease
but a general term that shows a wide range of symptoms that are related to loss of memory or
thinking skills of an individual.
Elderly people are at high risk of developing dementia same as developing other health
conditions such as arthritis and respiratory problems. In addition to old age, people with learning
disabilities are prone this condition of cognitive impairment. As a result, people with dementia
usually have other health co-existing problems hence requires utmost care from health workers.
Most people who are admitted to health care facilities are also likely to develop dementia
(Blackhall A et al. 2011). It is, therefore, a responsibility of nurses to identify and care for people
with dementia.
The basic role of a nurse to people with dementia conditions is to help them in
regenerating memories as well as enhance their declining capacity of thinking. However, as
numerous agencies and people apply different approaches towards dementia through nursing,
they sometimes generate problems. One of the challenges is to determine whose views, stories
and accounts nurses should consider (the views of the person with dementia, the views of family
members or the views of the nursing system) within the recovery period (Brooker D, Latham I
Role of Nurses in Treating People Diagnosed with Dementia 3
If a person is diagnosed with dementia, they should be offered the right dementia
medication. The nursing team should make dementia friendly relationships with the patients in
their medication approach as well as enhance the environment in which the patients are in (either
in a hospital or at home). These precautions are made to achieve maximum level of quality life
by ensuring that;
The bed space for patients with dementia is easily differentiated from the others through
use of color pictures
That their bed area is located near clearly signposted toilets
That the lighting of the bed area is sufficient
The other role of nurses to patients with dementia is to explain types of medications as well
as the possible side effects. Nurses should also know where dementia patients can get further
information on particular treatments. Also they should be conversant with online resources and
local agencies. It is also important for nurses to understand how the medication works especially
when responding to patients or family members (Sinclair AJ et al. (2014).
Like any other professionals, nursing practitioners have special binding attitudes, values and
behaviors. Attitudes and behaviors of nurses are largely defined by values such as respect,
obligation and responsibility. In this case, the attitude (a particular thinking or feeling about
patients) and the perception (ability to sense changes in medication) of nurses should be in-line
with treating the dementia patients.
The other aspect that nurses should always have in mind is that people with dementia can
simply forget whether they took their medication or not. Therefore, it is a nurse’s role to ask for
patients tablets and countercheck whether they are taking them as prescribed, or else they take an
Role of Nurses in Treating People Diagnosed with Dementia 4
overdose or an under dose (Middleton J, 2016). If the patients are already taking the pills as
prescribed, then nurses should not interfere since the patients already have a system within them
that is working correctly.
Finally, there should be a therapeutic relationship between patients and nurses since its
central in achieving quality nursing care. Nurses should show appreciation to patients,
communicate warmly and recognize their strengths and abilities to make them feel valued and
appreciated. It is therefore evident that nurses have many roles while taking care of people with
dementia. Once nurses adjust to the environment and the medication of patients is the primary
and final role of nurses to patients suffering from dementia.
Role of Nurses in Treating People Diagnosed with Dementia 5
Middleton J, (2016). Dementia 4; The Nurse’s Role in Caring for People with Dementia.
Blackhall A et al (2011). VERA framework: communicating with people who have
dementia. Nursing Standard; 26: 10, 35-39
Brooker D, Latham I (2016) Person-Centred Dementia Care. Making Services Better with the
VIPS Framework. London: Jessica Kingsley
Sinclair AJ et al (2014). Diabetes and dementia in older people: a best clinical practice statement
by a multidisciplinary national expert group. Diabetic Medicine; 31: 9, 1024-1031

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