Working with a patient who is dealing with dementia or memory care issues presents a challenge all it’s own. As new technologies and medicines make their way to the forefront, we’re sometimes reminded that taking patient care back to a personal level, may in fact produce a more beneficial care plan in conjunction with some of today’s more widely used treatments.
Interesting thoughts below from Rehab Synergies.
Hear the words “dementia care” and you’re likely to think of nurses and nurses’ aides. Therapists can play a role in caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, however, says Carmen Vitton, MS, CCC-SLP.
Vitton is chief operating officer of Rehab Synergies. “We provide occupational, physical and speech therapy services to our parent company [Advanced Healthcare Solutions] at more than 47 locations all over the state of Texas,” including outpatient therapy at 27 locations, she explains, “and we also provide services to external organizations that are not owned by our parent company, as well as through home health organizations.”
Because therapists work closely with a varied resident/patient population, Vitton says, they can recognize the differences in the disease processes associated with dementia versus stroke or Parkinson’s disease—perhaps more so than others working in a skilled nursing setting. And those who receive additional training related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can make an important contribution to long-term care (LTC) efforts, she adds.
“We establish what’s called a restorative nursing program, and we teach and train and educate the restorative nursing aide and other CNAs,” Vitton says. “Once we’re comfortable and confident with their ability to follow through with the program, we’ll turn it over to them.”
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