Working with dementia patients

SevereAD_DorsalBrain

This morning’s NYT has an article on Alzheimers that caught my eye, and it is similar to what we do on our memory care unit. I enjoy working with older adults – helping restore function, reduce risk of falls or further decline, etc. I love my place of employment because I get to work with outpatient clients as well as SNF patients to get them back home.

Probably the hardest patients for me to see however are those with dementia. It can be as taxing as my peds class was (little kids don’t understand what you want them to do or why, and they often have short attention spans – similar to patients with dementia), and it can be challenging on a personal level as well. I’ve had to be creative – dancing for balance, “strolling in the garden” with gait training, etc. Dementia care is not my area of interest, but it is something that if you work with older adults you need to have knowledge of as well as a backup treatment plan to accomplish the goals of therapy.

Photo credit: SevereAD_DorsalBrain, originally uploaded by gliageek

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