Adults with dementia need a well-planned visit to the hospital. Some unplanned visits should also be expected. There can be emergency situations for adults with dementia. As the disease aggravates the patient’s body, the caregiver has to be more careful. When at the hospital, adults with dementia can panic as they become disoriented, fearful, and cannot bear the hospital environment.
They do not feel home-like comfort, may get traumatized, and are super underconfident when it comes to moving from one place to another in the hospital. They are needed to be comforted and feel secure during the hospital visit.
Here are Adults with Dementia 3 Tips for a Better Hospital Visit:
1. Keep them at ease:
At the hospital, adults with dementia can be too stressful to handle. So, try to keep them comfortable or at ease. Keep them occupied. Speak to your patient. Keep them busy with something they’re familiar with. Adults with dementia need a lot of caregiving feel and security feel. Provide them with that. When disoriented, they may get totally anxious and will not trust anyone while creating chaos in the hospital. There are other patients too in the hospital admitted for various reasons, keep that in mind. Interact with them. Tell them what’s going on in the hospital. Communicating with them is the best thing to make them feel familiar and secure in the hospital.
2. Keep a full-time attendant:
Whether a person from the hospital or a person from the family, someone should be there. Adults with dementia need continuous monitoring and care. There are people from the hospital staff available. You can also stay in the hospital chance by chance if the family decides to care about the patient. Only a single person cannot remain with the patient 24*7. Adults with dementia have a symptom of being disoriented on a regular basis. They may also feel insecure and uncomfortable, someone needs to be there. A familiar person is a better choice to be with the patient as far as possible.
3. Minimise complexities:
For adults with dementia, sometimes the patient is very normal and active. Scheduling the hospital visits at that time can be favorable. This is the best time as the person is alert and refreshed. Give them choices but not many. The more the choices, the more they’ll be confused. E.g. give them 2 outfits to choose from. Offer them the choice of what clothes to wear while going to the hospital visit. Give them simple instructions before leaving. One-liner clear-cut instructions are more than enough for them to process. Excessive and complicated things need not be told to them. It may cause confusion in their minds and may lead to frustration. Adults with dementia will get insecure and under-confident again.
Things to consider after leaving the hospital:
- Where will the patient stay?
The patient must stay where he is more comfortable. The place should also be near the hospital considering emergency situations. Adults with dementia can come up with emergency situations at any given time. So it is best to keep them at a place where the hospital is nearest. The requirement of taking care of may have changes in the person. The best is for the doctor to decide where the patient can stay i.e. nearest to the hospital or a bit far is fine. Do as the doctor suggests.
- Ask the patient about their stay:
There are comfort zones in the minds of adults with dementia. These patients tend to feel comfortable in a particular space and won’t be that comfortable in other spaces. If they can decide well and well. If they are not able to decide, it is known as a lack of decision-making ability, keep them in a space where medical facilities are available 24*7.
- Make sure the patient isn’t left alone:
Alzheimer’s or dementia are diseases where the patient is not to be left alone at any cost. There should be an attendee at all times near the patient. Never should he be left alone. This will prevent falls, disorientations, and discomforting feelings of the patient, and will feel secure when someone is around at all times.
Effects of dementia in everyday life:
As dementia directly affects the brain, individuals struggle a lot in completing basic daily activities. Psychological and emotional behavior is affected substantially.
Some psychological effects:
The patient’s thinking capacity is affected majorly. He sees himself as a burden on others. Becomes under-confident. Anxiety, depression, and sadness are the major things that happen. Feeling negative about self. This can be solved by continuous counseling. Talking in an assurance-giving tone will help. All they need is to feel secure, confident and to rely on someone. They are needed to be taken care of as we care for babies from age o to 4 years. Extreme attention and a feeling of security is the basic need that they need due to a lack of confidence.
Signs of dementia:
1. Challenges in planning:
Doing daily tasks or making a plan for the next 2 to 3 days can become a challenge. Calculating or monitoring monthly expenses will become a task.
2. Forgetting locations:
The patients may tend to forget familiar locations. They may feel lost when heading to a known location. They will get confused with the locations, names of buildings, and names of people.
3. Forgetting recent information:
Patients tend to forget information that is as recent as a week. They will not be able to process it again. They may even face issues in re-collecting it. They will have to be reminded of some other incidents related to a particular incident to make them recollect the main incident.
Alzheimer’s or dementia isn’t an easy disease for the patient and the caregiver as well. The main requirements for such diseases are a location where the hospital is the nearest. Secondly, an intense amount of care and a secure feeling. These are the two basic and simple requirements that are needed to be fulfilled. They suffer from mood swings. Feelings of insecurity, suspiciousness, fear, or anxiety are the feelings they go through. Hence, good caretaking is needed in such cases.