This quick guide covers care strategies for older adult patients with dementia or cognitive impairment following their diagnostic evaluation in memory care units in Port Charlotte, FL. Older adults with cognitive impairment may need both medical treatment and other forms of support. The best solution for both the patient and caregiver is to work with a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, and the memory care team to improve both the physical and behavioral condition of the affected senior. Here are some guides employed at memory care units.
Develop a Management Plan by Working with Doctors
Each patient’s prescription and over-the-counter medications are reviewed and assessed for whether they may be causing cognitive deficits. Specifically, the need for narcotics, sedatives, anticholinergics, and other substances are assessed. Residents are also observed to see if they can take their medications as prescribed and whether or not they use a pill organizer. The team will also be briefed on how medication intake is administered and monitored to avoid undertreatment or overdoses.
There is a need to determine if providing a more structured environment or non medical approach could ward of the need for antipsychotic drugs to treat the cognitive impairment
There is also great caution taken not to use off-label antipsychotic medications to protect the health and safety of the patient.
Schedule Important Medical Appointments
Typical, the community will schedule a follow-up appointment within a specified amount of time (for example, 4 to 6 weeks), especially if new medication is prescribed. While reduced self-awareness is prevalent in those experiencing cognitive impairment, the patient can even bring a family member or friend who can act as a care partner to every appointment. In memory care communities, this role can be filled by one of the caregivers for your loved one. This is necessary, as reliable information transfer is more likely when a care partner is present. Thanks to the transportation services available at retirement communities, your loved one can be driven by one of the community drivers to their medical appointment and back. This ensures that they don’t miss important medical checkups that can affect their overall health.
The Process of Care
Useful aids for daily functioning, such as to-do lists, a calendar, and other reminders, can be employed in retirement homes while caring for patients with cognitive impairment. Technology for medication management, safety (e.g., door alarms, emergency response), and other measures may also be employed. In memory care communities, regular physical activity, a healthy diet, social activities, and more are encouraged to ensure those with memory impairments receive enough stimulation to manage their condition. They can also embark on hobbies or gain intellectual stimulation through activities like game nights or browsing through the community’s library for a good read.
To help both residents and caregivers, support groups and other useful resources may also be recommended.
Do you or your loved one think you might need help managing the symptoms of cognitive impairment? Look no further. The SHINE® Memory Care program curriculum has earned a National Certificate of Recognition from the Alzheimer’s Association®, the country’s leading, voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care and research.