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Dementia is a mental disorder that involves multiple cognitive deficits, primarily memory impairment, and cognitive disturbances (APA, 2000). The main cause of dementia remains to be a mystery. But there are tests and researches proved the high levels of aluminium favors the onset of this disease. Aluminum is toxic to the nerve cells and a common element found on the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Aluminum is used for making cooking utensils, antacids made from aluminium, soft drink cans, and tap water has also aluminum content. One way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease is to avoid ingesting products sealed by aluminium packages and using aluminium utensils for cooking.

Dementia usually progresses from mild memory loss inability to do self-care activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the irreversible form of senile dementia caused by nerve cell deterioration.

What are the cognitive deficits of Dementia?

  1. Aphasia- deterioration of language function
  2. Apraxia- impaired motor function
  3. Agnosia- inability to recognize names of objects
  4. Executive functioning inability to think abstractly
  5. Amnesia-loss of memory caused by brain degeneration

Nursing Interventions

  1. Provide patient with a safe environment.This a priority nursing responsibility especially because patients with dementia has an impaired motor function.
  2. Keep a calm, stress-free environment. Identify what are the stressors and triggers for the patient.
  3. Establish routine for each daily task of the patient.
  4. Encourage and assist the patient to do exercises to help maintain mobility.
  5. Establish an effective communication system with the patient.
  6. Assist or supervise patient with activities of daily living. Give patient time to accomplish each task.
  7. Promote proper hygiene, rest, and nutrition. Patient’s physiologic needs must also be prioritized.
  8. Provide emotional support to the patient and the family members. Let them express their feelings regarding the condition. Teach them about the disease process and refer them to social services and support groups if available.

What are the possible nursing diagnosis for Dementia?

  • Risk for injury
  • Impaired Memory
  • Impaired Sleeping Pattern
  • Risk for imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements 

Dementia Pathophysiology and Schematic Diagram

References:

  • Doenges, M., Moorhouse, M., Murr, A. (2006) Nursing Care Plans: Guidelines for individualizing client care across the lifespan. F. A Davis Company, Philadelphia. 7th edition.
  • Schilling McCann, J. (2007). Lippincott manual of nursing practice series: Pathophysiology. Lippincot Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Silvestri, L. (2008). Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination. Saunders Elsevier. 4th edition.
  • Smeltzer, S., Bare, B., Hinkle, J., Cheever, K. (2010). Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 12th edition
  • VIdebeck, S. (2011). Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. Wolters Kluwer Health. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 5th edition.

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Rina Malones is currently working as a critical care/acute stroke nurse. Besides from blogging, she's also studying International Health at University of the Philippines Open University.