Dementia Evaluation

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Dementia: An Evaluation of Assessment and Caregiving

Dementia is a disorder that causes a gradual decrease in a patients mental processes. They show signs of memory loss, impaired reasoning and changes in their personality. Correctly assessing the patient for signs of the condition is extremely important. The chances of developing dementia increase with age and 14.7% of people over 70 are diagnosed with dementia (Jarvis, 2016). The diagnosis of dementia is not only stressful for the patient but also the family members and caregivers. Tests such as the Mini-Cog are tools that are used along with a full mental workup that allows nurses to asses a patient with dementia. As nurses and medical professionals we need to make sure we are providing
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Often times family members or caregivers become concerned when there is a change in the behavior of their family member. This information can be helpful in the assessment process and would require further investigation. Assessing changes of the patients ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s) need to be addressed as there is a strong connection between dementia and decreased ability to perform ADL’s (Cordell et al., 2013). When performing a mental status examination appearance, behavior, cognition and thought process need to be addressed. Special attention needs to be paid to level of consciousness, orientation and new learning. New learning is assessed with a four word recall test at 5, 10 and 30 minute intervals. Dementia would be a concern if they could only recall one or two words. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) can be used to assess mental status however it is copyrighted and requires an extra fee (Cordell et al., 2013). The Mini-Cog is a test that is free to use and is quite …show more content…
In a study by Paller et al., regarding mindfulness and communication, the education of family caregivers contributed to maintaining language abilities and decreasing depression, aggression and irritability in patients (Paller et al., 2014). After the training, caregivers increased the amount of encouragement and decreased criticism and many spoke of feeling more fulfilled and satisfied in their work. Practicing mindfulness, or focusing on living in the moment, has also been clinically proven to affect both parties positively, specifically regarding quality of sleep and decrease in depression (Paller et al., 2014). It also is a new way for caregivers and patients to communicate, focusing both participants on the positive features of the conversation in that

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