Nurses can incorporate a range of stimulation activities into daily undertakings including puzzles, word games, and baking.
Research indicates that participation results in positive wellness outcomes for those living with dementia including improved memory and concentration stimulation, and increased sense of purpose. Nurses can educate families and caregivers of these practices, making these appropriate interventions for outside residential care facilities.
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With various reports demonstrating improved mental ability and quality of life, enhanced cognitive functioning through continuous stimulation is vital for people with dementia to maintain their independence levels throughout their dementia journey Woods et al The advantages of a person living with dementia endeavouring to maintain functional independence are numerous, including keeping active which preserves muscle tone, enhances well-being and decelerating the progression of symptoms Hunter, Nurses can offer limited assistance when providing treatment to ensure the utmost self-determination is promoted.
In advocating autonomy and allowing the individual to participate in their own care to their maximum potential functioning, the nurse is able to offer relief to the family and friends volunteering care to loved ones with dementia. It is not uncommon for them to experience guilt for admitting the strain experienced through caring for their deteriorating family members.
Family can also be hampered by overwhelming feelings of grief for the impending loss, and in later stages, a sense of relief knowing that the journey is coming to an end. A nurse equipped with knowledge and specialised dementia education is capable of providing crucial aid and reassurance to the family throughout all stages of the dementia journey.
How an Admiral Nurse can help
Nurses can prepare families with educational material relating to respite services and community support services that are available within the community Hunter, Through holistic assessment and therapeutic communication, the nurse can recognise and address caregiver role strain and coping mechanisms by encouraging regular reflection and maintenance of personal welfare Hunter, Finally, the lack of awareness surrounding dementia treatment provision tests the resilience of the family unit as it increases their financial and legal vulnerability WHO, Despite the increase in prevalence of dementia globally, a significant gap still remains in the knowledge and understanding of the syndrome, and this lack of awareness has resulted in the marginalisation of those living with dementia WHO, Universal misconceptions commonly associated with dementia include fear, shame and frustration Hunter, , and have the potential to interfere with appropriate interventions that could improve the provision of care for those living with dementia.
The nursing code of ethics states that nurses act as patient advocates to promote health legislation that encumbers social justice and better health outcomes for all, including those living with dementia Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, The guidelines informing nursing practice denotes an inherent obligation to educate society and heighten awareness of dementia; without overcoming marginalisation, the health system cannot provide optimal care or prepare for the impact its prevalence will have globally WHO, By applying the principles of person-centredness, respect for individual needs and compassion into care, which is a fundamental aspect of nursing care, nurses can preserve the self-worth of people living with dementia Crisp et al The impact of providing dignified dementia care is emphasised throughout the Nursing Code of Ethics, requiring RNs to actively preserve patient dignity through compassion and recognition of client vulnerability owing to their illness Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, Nurses offer a unique contribution to improved living standards for those living with dementia as they provide a majority of the personal daily treatment requirements and embrace a holistic care model focusing on person-centredness.
Through client education and health promotion, nurses can incorporate interventions that have demonstrated increased wellness outcomes for patients and their families including regular physical activity, socialisation, maintaining functional independence and promoting the delivery of dignified treatment. Nurses as patient advocates have a fundamental responsibility to promote public awareness of dementia as its prevalence is expanding rapidly on a global scale, and poses significant implications for the health care system.
Nurses look past the debilitating medical condition consuming a person living with dementia, and instead recognise each individual who is deserving of compassion, dignified treatment and a better quality of life: The importance of exercise. Experiences of day care and collaboration among people with mild dementia.
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19 19 , The art of aging.
Mental activity and creative pursuits may help stave off dementia and keep the mind clear. Harvard Health, 30 11 , 6. Participant perspectives of the benefits of an older adult exercise program. Effects of regular exercise on senile dementia patients. International Journal of Sport Medicine, 29 6 , A donation to Dementia UK helps families get the specialist dementia care they need. Help families receive the specialist dementia care that is right for them.
Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who support families facing dementia
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