Dementia is a brain disease that gradually derails the ability for one to think and remember effectively. According to Lee et al., (2017), this condition hinders the normal functioning of the individual, and dementia patients are expected to be appropriately taken care of to help them carry themselves out daily. I visited Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Bryan, Texas, and interacted with the caregivers and medical practitioners present at the facility and inquired on the different ways they handle dementia patients. I went through the different techniques and procedures the caregivers use to ensure the patients at the facility receive quality treatment and more specifically, high-quality care. Keep in mind that this will work and provide pointers on the crucial information obtained from the visit and the different management styles the caregivers undertake at the facility. Below is how the interview with one of the caregivers called Martha went:
Question: Which skills are most valuable when attending to dementia patients?
Martha: Good communication skills are essential when attending to dementia patients as handling these patients is quite tricky because of the difficulties in trying to understand how they approach and address specific situations. It is crucial for an individual to familiarize with the prevailing conditions involving the patients to be able to know what they need and more so understand their expressions in which in some cases, it may be offensive. Hence, excellent communication skills enable one to respond to such situations calmly.
Question: How has caring for someone with dementia changed your life?
Martha: Taking care of these dementia patients has given me a new drive in life as I’ve gotten to see how important it is to take care of someone’s life, especially experiences of patients who have difficulties in carrying themselves around. It has helped me to understand the vital role medical intervention plays in our community as the knowledge obtained from the medical school has enabled me to help these patients in the best ways possible.
Question: What are some of the in-home care services you provide for these patients?
Martha: We provide personal care services, companion services, skilled care, and homemaker services for the patients. The personal care services focus on helping patients with their physical Icare, which allows patients to do important physical activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, and even exercising. Ashton et al., (2016) explain that this helps patients who may have difficulties in carrying themselves around and more so who may have problems doing such activities on their own. The companion services we offer at the facility highlights on recreational activities, and in some cases, it engages visits whereby the patients’ loved ones can visit them at designated times and periods to ensure they can check on the progress of the demented patients. Skilled care and homemaker services provide physical therapies and taking care of injuries and wounds in situations where the patients may have injured themselves by accident. We believe these care services to be useful as it helps in taking care of the patients’ needs and more specifically care.
Question: What are some of the challenges present at the facility?
Martha: The biggest challenge we have is a shortage in the personnel department as we do not have enough workers or more so caregiver to attend to the increasing number of dementia patients at the facility. It has become a challenge as the current number of attendants’ present have to attend to more patients than expected hence making the whole care process to be a bit hectic from morning till evening hours. Other challenges are slightly manageable as it majorly entails prepping recruits on how they should manage themselves in front of the patients and more so how they can transition and take care of the patients as required by the set guidelines at the facility.
Question: How do the new caregivers carry themselves around? Are they adequately drilled on their ideal professional expectations?
Martha: Despite their knowledge on how to handle demented patients, we provide basic training on how to approach the patients at the facility as they are expected to spend more time with the patients than before. Hence, the program prepares them psychologically and emotionally on how to remain professional and robust for the patients. Windle et al., (2019) agree that most of them are usually uneasy, but with time they can keep up and do a swift job to the benefit of the patients and their conscious respectively.
Question: Which areas should the facility require urgent help, and why?
Martha: The facility needs more health administrators, and caregivers as this will help reduce the slackness rising in the facility as a result of a shortage in the recruitment department. It would also be great if the facility can organize additional care units to manage the increasing number of dementia patients properly. It will help reduce cases of congestion and to be more specific, and this will help give the patients more space to recover appropriately.
Question: How can we, as a society, assist dementia patients?
Martha: I believe society has a crucial role in the fight against dementia as the society can help in identifying members in the community that may depict the symptoms. Bamford et al., (2018) assert that this can help save patients and more importantly, the lives of these members as earlier diagnosis and treatment benefits in easing their cases. Care from loved ones and people close to these patients can also help by continually checking out on them to ensure they are not in any danger and more importantly, to ensure they are safe and have everything they need at their disposal to feel comfortable. However, the most important action the people close to these patients can ensure they practice is to provide the patients to take their medication seriously. Ideally, no prescription is worth missing. This will help their medical progress better when adequately monitored.
Question: What is the best thing that has happened as a result of caregiving?
Martha: I believe the best thing that has happened in this whole process is I have been able to interact with people I never knew I could go in my life as we have shared experiences from the little chats we have had here and there. These talks have taught me how to value life and the little things life gives you because in your lowest moments in life, these things will reflect and keep you going through your difficult times. So to me, caregiving is everything to me, and I thank God for giving me this opportunity to help these patients as my sole aim is to help them recover and more importantly overcome the storm present in their lives.
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