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Dementia Case Study For Nursing Students
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  • Country: Australia

Dementia Case Studies for Nursing Students

Dementia is referred to as memory loss. But it is more than just forgetting things. Dementia is a neurological disorder that affects cognitive function. It is highly prevalent in the elderly population.

People suffering from it often face issues like memory loss and difficulty in communication. As it progresses it makes it hard to do basic chores. You might also notice a change in behaviour and mood. 

The disorder negatively impacts the life of the person. They are unable to socialise or talk to their people about their needs. Understanding and managing dementia is essential for nursing students to give the best care possible.

In this case study, we will analyse the various evaluation strategies. Read below to understand how to diagnose and treat dementia. 

Types Of Dementia

  • Alzheimer's:  it is the most common cause of dementia. People suffering from Alzheimer's deal with memory loss and behavioural change. It also causes difficulty in communicating. It usually affects older persons. However, there is a given age limit to it. 

  • Vascular Dementia: It happens when there is not enough blood supply to the brain. People experiencing this might have to deal with strokes. It causes damage to brain tissues which can lead to cognitive impairment.The symptoms can include delayed thinking, trouble making decisions, and issues with focus. 

  • Lewy Body Dementia: It happens when an abnormal protein named Lewy begins to deposit in the brain. It shares symptoms with Parkinson's disease. One might experience motor symptoms, tremors and stiffness. It can also lead to visual hallucinations. 

  • Dementia Frontotemporal: It refers to a group of linked illnesses where the brain's frontal and temporal lobes degrade. One might see changes in behaviour, personality, and language. It has many subtypes and requires different care plans as per the case. 

  • Mixed Dementia: It occurs when multiple conditions coexist. It leads to cognitive impairment.Mixed dementia is a prevalent condition in which a person has dementia but also brain vascular pathology and Alzheimer's disease at the same time.It can be difficult to diagnose and treat mixed dementia and needs a strong care plan. 

Case Study

Case Study: Mr L suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital. He is a 70-year-old man who lives in Australia with his family. The doctors noticed that he was also suffering from other issues. 

He was having a hard time swallowing and doing the basic chores. He also had aphasic and cognitive impairment. His family was also worried about his safety and the growing memory loss. In this case, it is critical to formulate a plan that will cater to all his needs. 

The nurses should focus on addressing all his needs and creating a plan accordingly. The first step is to make a correct diagnosis. Below his health condition is stated. 

Problems:

  • Barriers to Communication: Mr. L has aphasia. It was making it difficult for him to communicate his condition properly. Doctors need to be extra careful to get the right information. They should focus on getting his needs, preferences, and symptoms right.

    Due to communication challenges, nursing students find it difficult to get the whole image. Hence they need to put extra effort into building good relationships. Students should also keep a check on nonverbal clues and expressions. All these tactics will help to get the right diagnosis and plan. 

  • Trouble With Swallowing: Another of his issues is dysphagia. Hence there are high chances of him contracting aspiration pneumonia. As he can't swallow most foods, he might also suffer from malnourishment. thus nursing personnel must monitor him closely and use specialized feeding techniques.

    It might be difficult for nursing students to give oral medications. They need to make sure that patients are getting enough oral intake. They also have to monitor any chance of aspiration and choking.

  • Behaviour and Psychology: Mr L displays aggressive behaviours that interfere with his care. His actions put other patients' and his own safety in jeopardy in the medical setting.Nursing students could experience stress and frustration when trying to provide care. They might feel puzzled about handling his difficult behaviours.

Solutions

  • Augmentative and alternative communication :To challenge the communication gap, nurses can use boards. There are AAC devices to help with better interaction. Nurses can use these with Mr.L to understand his needs more clearly.

    He can convey his wants and preferences.Nursing students should focus on learning AAC techniques. This will improve their ability to connect and communicate with patients. They can build strong relations with pupils suffering from aphasia and dementia.

  • Handling Dysphagia: Nurses can use cutting-edge dysphagia treatment strategies. They can enhance Mr. L's swallowing abilities and lower his aspiration risk. He can have better meals and more liquids.

    Nurses can also follow swallow rehabilitation exercises.You can create individualized therapy programs. Nurses can collaborate with speech-language experts and dietitians as per their needs. Nurses can contact experts and formulate a suitable plan. 

  • Multimodal State:Nurses should establish sensory-rich spaces. They can try calming music or aromatherapy. This will help Mr. L. to connect better. It will also help patients to relax. These sensory activities will improve Mr. L's quality of life and overall well-being. nurses should actively participate in these activities.  

Conclusion

In conclusion, caring for people with dementia requires careful analysis. Nurses should offer person-centred solutions to handle complex demands. With the help of evidence-based methods and teamwork, they can create good care plans. 

Nursing students make significant contributions to the progress of dementia care. They help with the improvement of patient outcomes in Australia by means of ongoing learning and adaptation.

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