A nursing care plan is a guideline that nurses would use during their care of a patient. It would include a diagnosis and appropriate related strategies and goals and outcomes. Such a plan can be used for dementia patients.
Dementia is disorder that affects cognitive abilities. Patients may experience memory loss, speech impairments, or trouble with judgment and critical thinking skills. One well known form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Over 5 million Americans, age 65 and older, have Alzheimer’s. That number is expected to grow greatly over time.
Many dementia and Alzheimer’s patients are cared for by a person, usually a family member, who is unpaid for their services. In the cases where a hired home health care worker is not involved, the person will most likely not have a care plan. Nursing care plans for dementia patients can be useful though, and caregivers should think about making their own basic plan.
It does not have to be complicated, and there are many resources out there. Writing out behaviors you have witnessed and techniques you have used can be useful to you. You can keep track of important information and reflect on observations at a later, quieter time. You might recognize new trends through your records. Your plan can also be a good set of documentation to share with the patient’s doctors.
Some things you may want to write down in the plan are:
- The patient’s current medical condition, medications, strength and weaknesses, and interests
- Typical behaviors and triggers for negative behaviors
- Goals for the patient (such as remaining independent as possible with daily tasks)
- Updated information
Sharing what you have experienced as the caregiver should be shared with anyone else involved in the dementia patient’s care. This can help everyone to be on the same page and maintain consistency when it comes to care.
You may notice that the patient needs more help than you can provide by yourself. Call one of the MAS Home Care locations throughout New England to review your home health care options.