This is Dementia Awareness week which is a good way to call attention to this common condition. But in reality every week needs to be dementia aware for nurses. And it’s not just for nurses working in care of the older persons and in nursing homes. All nurses will come into contact with patients with dementia – on surgical wards, in A&E, outpatients, GP surgeries and out in the community.
Simple strategies can really help to make communication easier. Take a look at an article we published recently which gives some useful tips. It sounds simple but it will make a difference. For example, avoid asking open-ended questions such as “What would you like to drink?” but ask instead “Would you like a drink of water?”
And think about the environment where you work. With the increasing number of people who have dementia, and will have it in the future, it is time to think about how you can make the space where you see patients more dementia-friendly.
Take a look at our excellent article written by June Andrews at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling. Even small adjustments can make a difference. For example, having doors in contrasting colours to the walls makes it easier for the person to navigate their way around.
We are having a twitchat at 1pm on Wednesday 22nd May. If you have strategies that you would like to share please join us for the chat. It is an important subject – this and every week.