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Dementia And Other Geriatric Health

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Dementia And Other Geriatric Health

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Discuss about the Critical Evaluation Of The Techniques Used In Dealing With Dementia And Other Geriatric Health Conditions.

Dementia depicts an association of symptoms affecting the thinking, memory and social capacities severely enough to obstruct with the daily functioning of an individual (Staff, 2016). This implies that dementia is mainly a mental problem which immensely leads to memory loss in an individual.  According to (Staff, 2016), the most common cause of progressive dementia in older adults is the Alzheimer`s disease.  They add that however, there exist other causes of dementia.  On the other hand, examples of geriatric problems include heart and kidney diseases, depression, diabetes and anxiety among others.  The techniques I will evaluate include Reality-orientation approach, Reminiscence techniques, Assistive technologies, Validation approach and the Holistic approach.
Reality- orientation approach
Reality orientation approach is aimed at redressing cognitive deficiencies commonly in a classroom setting, and it involves giving accurate information meant to orient the individual to his or her surroundings (Roy, 2008).  Similarly, (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011) argue that reality orientation is a treatment approach that is designed to stimulate people to relearn the elementary facts about themselves and their surrounding by systematically giving and reinforcing pertinent information.  The two arguments agree that reality orientation (RO) is fundamentally about giving relevant information to the patient about himself or herself and their surroundings.  The method may be useful in winning the trust and cooperation of the older confused individuals (Barbara & Faith, 2005).  This means that the approach is efficacious in gaining the acceptance of the patients for treatment.
However, there have been case reports of frustration, anger, and depression triggered by reality orientation (Roy, 2008).  This may be caused by self-denial by the patients.  Additionally, this method is suitable for people who can learn and not for dementia patients who have lost this cognitive skill (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).  As such, people who have almost or completely lost their cognitive abilities cannot successfully undergo the reality orientation technique.
Reminiscence techniques
Reminiscence was at one time thought to be a show of mental deterioration (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).  However, they add that these days it is seen as a positive experience that should be promoted.  This implies that it is useful to disoriented people especially dementia and other geriatric health condition persons.  It is used by occupational therapists to help clients resolve conflicts or upkeep self-esteem besides being a recreational activity (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).  This aids in giving meaning and relevance to the patient’s life.  Reminiscence can be triggered using a wide range of media like reminiscence videos, photographs and audio tapes (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).
Assistive technology
It normally ranges from very basic tools like memory aids to technologically sophisticated solutions (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).  This means that the choice of the technology is based on the severity of the health condition.  Unobtrusive wireless sensors may be fitted around the home to raise the alarm in case there is a possible problem within the home of a dementia patient (Jeniffer & Lesley, 2011).  They add that these sensors detect smoke, flood, gas or fire and sent a sound alert to a carer or a 24-hour monitoring service.  As such, this assists such people to live safely.
However, according to them, the presence of this equipment may be distressing to the patient either because they do not know how to use them or reminds them of their condition.  Consequently, such patients need prudent and diligent care all the time.
Validation approach
It depicts the acceptance and validation of the demented old person`s feelings; to appreciate their losses, reminiscences and the human needs which underlie their conduct devoid of attempting to force new insights (Gemma & Bere, 2014).  This implies that it is paramount for the carers to recognize such aspects of their lives to aid in restoring their wellbeing and dignity feelings in the patients.
Holistic approach
 This approach is ideal provided the sophistication of issues related to cognitive decline and due to its multidisciplinary approach to care suitable to meet patient and carer requirements throughout the disease progression continuum (Peter, 2010).  This means that it can wholly accommodate or address all the problems faced by such patients.  It includes multidisciplinary team comprising of geriatric psychiatrists, social workers, neurologists, nurses and others (Peter, 2010).  As such, a holistic approach grants due attention to the psychological, biological, spiritual and social aspects of care (Julian, Mari, & Greg, 2009).
However, it is more applicable to professionals who care for people with dementia who live in long term care facilities like assisted living facilities, retirement communities and nursing homes (Peter, Canstantine, & Cynthia, 2006).  This is because such people spend much or all of their times in those care facilities hence higher transformational impacts in their lives.
Memory loss care plan for Lifeway Residential Care Rest Home Residents
A care plan is meant to promote a continued good health for aging persons and consequently aid in improving their general quality of life.  The care plan components include:

Comprehensive needs assessment- meant to ascertain individual health conditions, service needs, and resources. This is essential in that it enables the management to establish the unique health status of the mental patient and consequently instill the appropriate treatment measures for the patient.  This is because the degree of memory loss varies from one patient to another.  Similarly, the service needs for such patients will differ based on their level of memory loss.  As such, the management will be able to engineer the most suitable treatment and service delivery measures to aid the patients to live quality lives despite their mental conditions.  Additionally, some resources required to meet the individual mental care needs of the patients will be established based on their individual health needs and the services required to care for them.  Evidently, there will be patients who need fewer resources and others who require the injection of immense resources.
Determination of existing problems- This is about the challenges the individual is facing resulting from their mental condition. Such problems may include grooming challenges, inability to organize oneself and the tendency to forget one’s name or other people`s names among others.  The inability to do such elementary things will be catered for in this component.  This will facilitate prudent decision making regarding how to assist such patients to mitigate or overcome the above-mentioned challenges.
Identification of expected problems- The management is expected to determine the anticipated problems the mental patient is likely to face. Some of such challenges may include the possibilities of complete memory loss, co-ordination and self-organization challenges just to mention a few.  This will enable the management to design suitable counter measures to avert such problems.  Such averting steps include ensuring close monitoring of the patients` recovery progress and thorough treatment mechanisms.
Care/ Nursing planning- to specify the kinds and levels of care required to fulfil the identified needs of the patient. Here, the nursing needs of the mental patients are determined based on the severity of memory loss.  As such, there are those patients who will require extremely close, diligent and rigorous nursing to aid in improving their condition while others will require average nursing.
Service management- provide both the formal and informal services. The formal service delivery will be provided by the various professionals in the facility, for instance, psychiatrists, neurologists and social workers among others.  On the other hand, informal services will be offered particularly by their family members who visit them in the facility.  This may include talking to them, spending quality time with them and showing them love and affection among others.
Monitoring- ensure services are provided as planned and adjusted if necessary. This is very crucial in the recovery journey of such patients.  The management will need to have an elaborate monitoring schedule which may be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on its appropriateness.
Reassessment- to adjust the care plan to meet fluctuating needs. Adjustments will be executed on a regular basis based on the emerging needs of the mental patients.  For instance, the plan may be adjusted weekly, monthly or annually.

Justification summary for the components
The above components are tailored to meet the changing needs of memory loss patients in the care facility.  For instance, a comprehensive needs assessment will identify the mental needs of the patients. Care planning will specify the degree of care to be provided to the mental patients, monitoring will ensure satisfactory service provision and care while reassessment is meant to accommodate the changing needs of the mental patients.  Existing and anticipated problems of the patients are vividly considered too since they have extremely changing mental needs.
Barbara, H., & Faith, G. (ed.) (2005). `Working with Older Adults: Group Process and Technique`. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Gemma, M., & Bere, M. (2014). Care- Giving in Dementia: Volume 1: Research and Applications. Routledge.
Jeniffer, C., & Lesley, L. (2011). Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Julian, H., Mari, L., & Greg, S. (ed.) (2009). Supportive Care for the Person with Dementia. OUP Oxford.
Peter, A. (2010). Handbook of Assessment in Clinical Gerontology. Academic Press.
Peter, V., Canstantine, G., & Cynthia, D. (2006). Practical Dementia Care. Oxford University Press.
Roy, J. (2008). Drug Treatment in Dementia. John Wiley & Sons.
Staff, M. C. (2016, April 5). Retrieved from Dementia-Overview-Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/home/ovc-20198502

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