Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dementia and reality

Antipsychotics for Dementia Drops After FDA Warning (CME/CE)

A decrease in prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics accelerated after the FDA issued a black box warning about the risks of using the drugs to soothe behavioral problems in dementia patients, according to an analysis of VA system prescribing... full story

A decrease in prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics accelerated after the FDA issued a black box warning about the risks of using the drugs to soothe behavioral problems in dementia patients, according to an analysis of VA system prescribing... full story


Everyday EMS geriatric assessment tips for any geriatric patient:
  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain your actions before and as you do them
  • Ask a single question at a time
  • Wait for the patient to think through their answer before interrupting with a new question or re-asking the same question
  • Listen to the patient’s answer
  • Only raise your voice volume if the patient has a hearing impairment
Also, body language is important. Dementia clients don't always recognize friends and family, let alone recognizing that you are a stranger.
I would suggest being as unthreatening as possible. Smiling. Nodding. Being positive.
Sometimes a touch on the arm is important, others cannot bear to be touched!
Telling them everything will be alright, and making sure this appears in your visage. They know if you are tired, frustrated, impatient, and you need to let them think they are the most important person in the world, even if they cannot understand your words, they understand your demeanour.
 Asking them questions that are simple with let you know if, firstly, they hear you, and secondly, if they are processing.
My clients tend not to want to admit they have pain. (British stiff upper lip!)
Some cannot process the language, either expressive (I have pain in my leg!) or receptive, and do not process complex, abstract language. Pain is not always perceived, and can appear in the form of agitation, picking at their clothes, and facial features.

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