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Caring for elderly patients with dementia: nursing interventions

Authors Joosse LL, Palmer D, Lang NM

Received 2 May 2013

Accepted for publication 29 June 2013

Published 6 August 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 107—117


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Laura L Joosse,1 Debra Palmer,1 Norma M Lang2

1University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, College of Nursing, Milwaukee, WI, USA; 2University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, College of Nursing, Knowledge Based Nursing Research Initiative, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Abstract: Elderly patients suffering from chronic cognitive decline/dementia are susceptible to poor quality of care which further erodes their quality of life. Seemingly benign events can create cascade iatrogenesis in those whose compensatory ability is compromised by impairments in multiple domains. Under recognition, misrecognition, or failure to intervene and manage this vulnerable population leads to suboptimal care. This places them at risk for cognitive decline, functional decline, and challenging behaviors, creating financial and emotional burdens for not only the patients but also family, staff, and organizations that are attempting to provide care. Identifying, managing, and therapeutically responding to confused elderly is complex. Recognizing the challenges makes the development of tools that guide comprehensive assessment planning, interpretation of findings, and treatment plans imperative. Innovative and effective assessment and interventional approaches are present in the literature. This article synthesizes the scientific evidence to guide clinicians to implement in practice.

Keywords: dementia, older adults, assessment, intervention, quality of life, elderly, cognitive decline

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