Long-Term Care

Important things to remember about dementia

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, July 16, 2009

Dementia is a mental disorder involving general loss of intellectual abilities and changes in personality. Read through the follwing tips about dealing with residents with dementia. Stress the importance of being compassionate and understanding.

  • Adult dementia sufferers deserve the respect and status they have earned. They often do not know their abilities have changed, and do not understand why resident treat them differently.
  • They must be given as many opportunities as possible to make decisions and retain control over their lives.
  • With the right environment and support, a resident's ability to function can be strengthened and improved. If those supports are removed, the resident's function will decline.
  • The deficiencies caused by dementia affect all areas of a resident's life. Although the disability is invisible, it affects the resident's ability to do even the smallest activities.
  • The way a resident with dementia behaves is not just the result of impaired brain functions.
  • Behavior is often caused by efforts to meet needs while compensating for lost abilities.
  • Staff can help resident with dementia by trying to understand what they feel and think.

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