Staff in the acute care or hospital setting are increasingly required to provide care for patients with dementia. The hospital environment can be unfamiliar and distressing and it is important that staff understand and are equipped to provide safe and quality care tailored to the needs of the patient with dementia.
A new resource “Considerations for looking after a patient with dementia in an acute care setting” is a reference guide for hospital staff to assist them in creating a connection with the person with dementia.
The guide explains that early connections can reduce stress and anxiety of both staff and the patient and make the patient feel supported while reducing the need for more distressing and labour-intensive interventions.
The importance of individualised care is also highlighted and provides questions staff might ask the family to get to know the patient better. Due to the current pandemic many patients may be on their own and feel frightened, the guide suggests ways a patient still can be connected with family members and feel reassured.
The hospital environment in itself can cause increased anxiety. Noise, lights, and the unfamiliar surroundings and routines, all need to be considered when providing a safe and calm environment for a patient with dementia.