Psychotropic medications for dementia sufferers are prescribed to reduce the effects of the disease, but they also serve as chemical restraints and may adversely affect the body and mind. Tracy, one of our LPN Care Managers, recommends trying to minimize use of these medications as much as possible.
She tells us that she accomplishes this by using a holistic approach and adjusting the client’s life and home care plan in order to accommodate each person individually. She starts by learning about the client and his history and personality. She interviews family members to find out his likes, dislikes and past hobbies. She gets a clear picture of the client’s life before the disease took over.
Tracy reports, “I institute activities of choice, such as music, touch, aroma therapy, exercise, social outlets, psychosocial therapies, brain games, board games, pet therapy, pleasure foods and pictures of comfort. And I adjust their environment to a friendly zone which is quiet and comfortable. I work with the doctor or psychiatrist to minimize the drugs and use these non-drug measures.”
Although client behavior can improve immediately, often there is a backlash where the client begins to act out. However, it often transpires that this is a result of an acute illness or pain, which can be treated without psychiatric drugs. Common illnesses in dementia sufferers include UTI, pneumonia, exacerbation of arthritis or a fracture. Other factors that may contribute to these behaviors could be sight loss or hearing problems. Whatever the issue is, the client needs to be evaluated by a physician in order to treat the symptoms.
Tracy and her team are dedicated to providing the best care for their clients, and they work hard to ensure that each client has a personalized plan which keeps them happy and comfortable. Since external and internal circumstances change, they are always on the lookout for changes in behavior which necessitate tweaking the plan. They are in constant touch with both family members and physicians to ensure that bumps in the road are dealt with.
Tracy invites you to be in touch with a Towne Home Care representative to discuss how your loved one can benefit from an individual care plan.