We were blessed with 30 volunteers from LexisNexis who gave their time to support our mission at our not-for-profit community hospice house! Supporting our mission supports their mission – they give back to their local communities through their Global Community Service Campaign, while their compassion improves the quality of life of our patients and families.
Archive | September, 2016
Loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s benefit from interaction with others. Sometimes we may not know how to best communicate with those experiencing memory problems, which occurs with every form of dementia. Here are some tips for interacting with people with dementia:
- Conversation with people with dementia will vary dependent on where they are; early stage versus late stage. A key issue with dementia is loss of the ability to plan, reason, and execute a plan. Thus if you ask a yes or no question and it requires reasoning, often the answer will be no, not because they are saying no, but because they cannot decide.
- Keep conversations simple and stay away from questions except as it pertains to real time: Are you hungry, thirsty, or in pain? Keep each question as a single subject and then wait for an answer. Do not change the question, but if not answered, ask exactly the same question again.
- Stay away from “do you remember?” In dementia, early on, people do know their memories are worsening, so asking this may increase their frustration. When looking at pictures, ask what the person thinks is happening in the picture rather than asking them to try to identify the person. This taps into imagination and decreases the stress of trying to remember.
- Try to keep the environment calm and free of lots of stimulation. When wanting to communicate, turn off the TV and help the person focus to the conversation. Over stimulated persons with dementia may become agitated, aggressive or withdraw.
- As dementia worsens, the person’s world will get smaller. They often end up in a single room due to inability to cope with the wider environment. This tells you that more stimulation is not what is needed, but that there is an increase in fear due to unrecognized surroundings.
- Do not yell, shame, or corner a person with dementia. They are adults and often that is known to them. Also, do not use reality orientation. If you ask them how old they are, they may give you a clue as to what period of time they think they are in. It is easier to go to their reality than to drag them into our reality.
- If they have forgotten who you are, be who they think you are, or introduce yourself at every visit and who you are. If they have forgotten you, do not take it personally. They just cannot remember.
- Engage the senses as dementia frequently affects left brain function first. Sensory experiences are in the right brain. Aromatherapy, massage, music, quiet environments, lower lights help.
About the Author:
Nancy Sterling Trimble, PhD, RN, CNP is a geriatric Adult Nurse with over 30 years of experience. She has served as a faculty member of Indiana Wesleyan University, Capitol University and Wright State University. Nancy has also contributed numerous articles to clinical publications.
Members of the community are invited to take part as individuals or as part of a team to honor the memory of a loved one at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s 3k/5k Remembrance Walk on Saturday, October 22, 2016.
The annual event involves the entire community in celebrating the lives of loved ones. Proceeds will enable Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization, to provide superior care and superior services to all patients with life-limiting illnesses, regardless of ability to pay. Programs supported by the Walk include:
Indigent Care – Hospice services are available to everyone in the greater Dayton community regardless of ability to pay.
Hospice House In-patient care options – In addition to serving patients in their homes, extended and assisted living facilities, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton offers in-patient care at the Dayton Hospice House, providing intense care for patients experiencing medical situations or symptoms that cannot be managed in the home or facility setting.
Complementary, Focused & Palliative Care – Donor dollars enable patients to receive services such as highly specialized disease-specific treatment for hospice patients, and palliative care for patients with significant pain and symptom control issues. Massage, art, music and occupational therapies are also provided to assure an improved quality of life for patients.
Community wide Grief Support Services – We provide Grief Support Services at no cost, regardless of whether our hospice services have been used
Someday you or someone you love is likely to need hospice care. Before you arrive at that day as a crisis, it’s a good idea to consider what is important in choosing who will provide your hospice care. You do have choices, and your choice is a critical factor in what services you receive. It affects not only services provided to the patient, but to those left behind. Below are important questions to ask when deciding who will provide your hospice care:
1. How long has the hospice been in operation?
According to a major consumer publication, hospices with over 20 years of service demonstrate stability and reliability of service.
2. Is the hospice Medicare-certified?
If the patient is a Medicare beneficiary and wants to use the hospice benefit, Medicare certification is required to enable costs to be covered.
3. Is the hospice accredited and state-licensed?
Hospices with Accreditation (JCAHO or CHAP) have been reviewed by an impartial organization and accreditation indicates they are recommended as having good standards of care.
4. Is the hospice a not-for-profit?
Not-for profit hospices offer patient services and support that are not required by Medicare, but are highly valuable to patient care and comfort. Because not-for-profit hospices are first committed to the hospice mission, not to shareholder profit, not-for-profit providers typically spend substantially more on patient care. Not-for-profit hospices are more likely to permit patients to continue with radiation and/or chemotherapy for cancer. If a patient wants to continue to receive these therapies to reduce the size of a tumor and reduce pain, it’s important to know whether the hospice permits such therapies.
Not-for-profit hospices also are more likely to provide an array of comfort therapies such as massage, music, art, pet assisted therapies and other non-pharmaceutical interventions that can significantly improve patient quality of life. These alternative, holistic treatments are important as you consider how well a hospice will meet patient needs.
5. Is inpatient hospice care available?
Patients receiving care in their own home may develop complicated symptoms and need to have inpatient care to control symptoms or pain. Caring for someone with a serious illness can be exhausting for caregivers, who sometimes fall ill themselves. Some hospices offer “respite” care, enabling the patient to be cared for in an inpatient environment to allow the caregiver a break of up to 5 days. Not every hospice can meet the need for inpatient care. It’s an important option for the comfort of the patient and the caregiver.
6. Are the doctors and nurses certified in palliative care?
Specialized study in palliative and hospice care is a demonstration of expertise in addressing the needs of hospice patients.
7. Does the hospice offer grief support services?
Grief support services are available at no cost from some hospices, and continue for up to a year following the loss of a loved one. An array of services tailored to address the needs of various family members is a good indication of strong bereavement support for family members left behind.