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This guide is a listing of eight examples of problems caused by dementia and the special care needed to deal with each of these problems.

* Memory Loss: she may have a urinary tract infection, but because of forgetfulness she may not drink enough water or fluids.

* SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: offer water to drink, reminders, and possible hands on help, to drink fluids.

* Disorientation to Time: a person may be wake and may pace or wander during the night.

* SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: supervision and reassurance when she wakes, exercise and structured activities during the day and at night, medication monitoring.

* Disorientation to Place: she may not be able to find her room.

*SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: staff reassurance, wayfind [signs, arrows, or other environmental methods], assistance, and cues [verbal prompts or signals, etc.], to help with direction, personal items she may identify.

* Impairment of Judgment: control of impulses, such as sexually inappropriate remarks.

* SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: reassurance, opportunities to talk with trained staff, distract and divert attention, a structured activity program and privacy.

* Language Impairment: she may not be able to communicate her need to use the toilet.

*SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: a toileting schedule with assistance from staff, offer fluids to drink, attention to non-verbal communications.

* Decline in capabilities and routine activities of daily living: she may lose the ability to use utensils and or eat a normal diet.

*SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: monitor weight, determination of nutritional needs and food likes and dislikes, provision of finger foods and the best dining setting to encourage eating in an enjoyable atmosphere.

* Change in expression of feelings: she was a very mild person, but now she has developed the habit of speaking in a loud angry voice.

*SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: assistance by an inter disciplinary care planning team [doctor, nurses, social workers, activities and nursing assistants and family] to determine if there is pain or other causes of her behavior.

* Think Disturbances: she seems to think that people are stealing her things

* SPECIAL CARE NEEDS: assistance from her family and staff to identify her personal belongings, and reassure her about them. Activities that will interest her and be pleasurable.

Stephaine Frankile @ copyright 1992


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