A Worcester Alzheimer’s planning lawyer knows that dealing with a diagnosis of dementia can be difficult. Often, patients with dementia require supervision in a nursing home setting which is equipped to deal with their unique needs. This means finding the right facility and coming up with the funds to pay for care. The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. helps with these issues.
Those who have been diagnosed with dementia, or who have family members with dementia, should also monitor any developments in treatment or in the way in which car is provided.
Just recently, the Boston Globe reported on a new approach to dementia care. By keeping up-to-date on the latest efforts to improve health and quality of life for dementia patients, individuals with dementia and their families can ensure the best possible care is always provided. Call us today to learn more.
Exploring a New Approach to Dementia Care
Dementia patients require specialized care because they have complex needs. As the Boston Globe reports, staff at facilities which care for dementia payments often have difficulty managing the aggressive and violent behavior which dementia can cause. Patients sometimes punch and kick caregivers or other nursing home residents, and patients are often prescribed powerful medications to control these anti-social behaviors. The medications have dangerous side effects, and sometimes the side effects can be lethal.
A better approach is being considered, however, One study from Boston suggests it is possible to reduce the need to use sedatives by connecting nursing home staff members with specialists in the care of patients with dementia. Staff members can connect with these specialists using video consultations.
The researchers tried this approach in a small group of nursing homes in Massachusetts in order to see how effective it was. They found staff members who were able to connect with specialists using video conferencing were 17 percent less likely to have residents on antipsychotic medications as compared with in nursing homes which were not participating in the pilot program.
The lead author of the study believes giving people tools to better manage dementia patients is a better alternative than just administering antipsychotic medications. He stated: “Here is one way to try and get antipsychotic use down with carrots and sticks, and with penalizing. The other is to give people tools to do this.”
Videoconferencing can be a more positive approach to learning how to deal with dementia patients and it can also help to solve another big problem as well: the growing number of dementia patients and the shortage of specialists in dementia care. Videoconferencing can allow specialists to help more people in a wider array of nursing homes.
Finding the Best Dementia Care
For patients with dementia and their families, finding a nursing home which will not engage in abusive or harmful behaviors like the overuse of antipsychotic medications can be a challenge. Close to one out of every five residents of Massachusetts nursing homes receives antipsychotic medication, according to the latest data. This is higher than the nationwide average rate of around 17.5 percent of patients on antipsychotics.
The overuse of antipsychotics is a big problem, as these medications can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and increase the risk of infections in elderly patients. The use of these medications can also amount to chemical restraint in many cases, because it leaves patients virtually incapacitated. Staff members should not be using antipsychotic medications to make their jobs easier at the expense of patient’s health.
Doing carful research in advance can be important to find a good nursing home with a quality reputation and with the right experience in treating patients with dementia. An Alzheimer’s planning lawyer can help patients and their families to make plans in advance before dementia progresses and the choice of a nursing home has to be made in an emergency situation with little time for confirming the home is the right environment.
Getting Help from an Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer
An Alzheimer’s planning lawyer can provide comprehensive assistance after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or a diagnosis of another type of dementia. We represent patients who want to get their affairs in order as well as family members of patients with dementia who want to ensure their loved one is cared for appropriately.
To learn more about how planning for dementia can fit in your overall estate plan, download our free estate planning worksheet. If you are ready to get personalized advice on dementia care, give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to learn how we can help.
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