Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

Nutritional And Pain Management Interventions For Dementia Patients

Dementia care typically focuses on certain interventions to help enhance memory. Interventions that the memory care facility staff may implement include reminiscing therapy, sensory stimulation exercises, and aromatherapy. Medication interventions include the administration of dementia modifying drugs to help slow the progression of dementia. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. Other interventions such as the following nutritional and pain management interventions are also essential for dementia patients. 

Nutritional Interventions

People with dementia often lose interest in eating. Because of this, they may develop nutritional deficiencies and dehydration, which can lead to health problems. The memory care facility or Alzheimer's care center staff will assess the dementia patient to evaluate his or her nutritional needs.

They will also make sure that the patient receives nutrient-dense foods and plenty of water to maintain hydration. The staff will assist dementia patients with cutting their food, buttering their bread, and adding cream and sugar to their coffee.

If the patient is unable to feed himself or herself, the staff will feed the individual. Some dementia patients also have neurological deficits that can affect their swallowing abilities. These patients are carefully monitored during mealtime by the staff, and if difficulty swallowing or choking occurs, the staff quickly intervenes. 

Pain Relief Interventions

Pain is sometimes difficult to manage in dementia patients because they may be unable to express their needs due to communication deficits. If pain is not recognized and treated, it can lead to suffering and even agitation or combative behavior.

The staff at the memory care facility will assess the patient if he or she becomes combative or acts out in any other way. If the patient is unable to tell the staff that he or she is in pain, the staff will monitor the individual for facial grimacing, crying, or clutching the chest.

If the nurse believes that any of these behaviors are related to pain, he or she will notify the physician, who will visit the patient at the facility. Alternatively, the physician may recommend that an ambulance be called so that the patient can be evaluated at the hospital.

If you have a parent who has Alzheimer's disease and you are unable to care for him or her because of work obligations or otherwise, consider placing your loved one in a memory care facility. There, the individual will get the medical, nutritional, and psychological treatment needed to promote his or her well-being. Reach out to businesses like Dolan Memory Care Homes to learn more.