new way to help dementia patients

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new way to help dementia patients

Post  Fran on Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:31 am

Chances are you know of someone with dementia and know how they love to take off or wander away somewhere.

Here's the answer according to those running nursing homes in Germany.

Old people's homes across Germany are erecting fake bus-stops to make it easier to round up senile pensioners trying to make a run for it, and also to help soothe patients who feel they have things to do, places to be.

And it makes them feel better - which is the thing. I suppose they settle and don't become agitated because noone is trying to prevent them from doing something.

Many of them will sit there for hours, waiting for a bus that never comes, but convinced they left the oven on in the apartment they haven’t lived in for sixty years.

"You can't rely on rational arguments with dementia sufferers," Richard Neureither from a home in Duesseldorf told TV station NTV. "You have to enter into their reality."

Staff can now point a patient who insists she has to get home to cook dinner for her long-dead husband in the direction of the bus-stop, and simply wait for her to return when she decides she must have missed her connection, or pick up her later. Often, she'll have forgotten after five minutes why she's there.

But when she comes back, she's likely to feel a whole lot better.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3394237,00.html

Fran
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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  The Estate on Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:18 pm

Hey funny you should bring this topic up, my jfav driver at work I love you , left early this year to go into nursing, and the last 2 weeks did placement and chose to do it with dem.patients, he told me after his first day went home all depressed, slept if off and was on top of the world when the lady who gave him a hard time was very excited to see him the next morning cherry , he is gunna make a great nurse, he is my Embarassed sweetie, such a lovely young man, and has so much inside to give cheers , thank GOD he dont garden and read this, but is is a real sweaty Very Happy

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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  Belladonna on Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:28 pm

This is just wrong on so many levels.Their using what is called reality re-enforcement in the wrong context.There are basically 2 ways to go with a dementia sufferer either reorientate them to todays reality or enter theirs but if you were going to do that ,having them sit at a "bus stop " for any length of time would mean you couldn't meet thier physical or medical needs.Do you go to the toilet at a bus stop?No so how would you deal with this?Do you have some one approach you with medication at intervals at a bus stop? no so how would you medicate them?(Ok reading back excluding drunk people and drug addicts) Often I become inventive in distraction techniques which works well, having a resident fold tea towels or hugging a petpal works as does just walking from one area to another with them and resettling them.

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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  Fran on Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:06 am

Yes, wondered about that - it would be convenient to park them there and forget about them but I presumed such a 'bus stop' is within the grounds of the nursing home and someone is close by to attend to them - have to be set up so a watch could be kept on them surely.

Reading only the other day an elderly man of 83 was taken to a local hospital, and I don't know the full story, but he was assessed for illness or injury I presume but not allowed to stay. The hospital contacted the family but they were unable to go and pick him up from the hospital because they had no money - asked if he could be allowed to stay there until the end of the week. The hospital refused and put him on a bus. The bus stopped to pick up passengers along the way that night and he got off and disappeared - went missing overnight - and searchers found him early the next morning, 60 km away on the highway at a turnoff. Someone must have given him a lift and then dropped him off there - opposite direction to where he should have been going too. They were lucky to find him - poor soul.

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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  Belladonna on Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:38 am

I guess then the solution of a coded door ward (which my workplace has) is a good solution in a situation where you can't be on watch all the time .People object to a locked door but for residents safety it is the way to go.We are able to see them at the door and move them away or sometimes if really insistant go for a walk in an outside corridor which leads to an atrium with birds in it and loops back to the other end of the ward.
I spoke to a friend last night about this ,she had a parent with dementia .She thought the idea would mean more work as they would then be "looking" for purse,timetable,keys,significant other,children.In fact the level of anxiety would rise.Most nursing homes have good activity programs these days which are individually taylored to clients needs and interests.There are even "Sundowners" clubs where people who suffer this symptom are kept active and entertained (distraction technique) during the time before Dinner.

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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  robbin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:26 am

I've seen this idea in an Australian nursing home, just can't remember where. Bus Stop located in a secure garden area, patients have free access to this garden, and instead of just sitting on an ordinary garden bench can sit at the bus stop. Very comforting for them, sense of purpose.

I hate the idea of going into a home where I wasn't allowed to go outside.

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Re: new way to help dementia patients

Post  Fran on Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:40 am

Here's a writeup that might explain it better than I did - from http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=158&ContentID=76868

German nursing homes are using a novel strategy to stop Alzheimer's patients from wandering off: phantom bus stops.

The idea was first tried at Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, which pitched an exact replica of a standard stop outside, with one small difference: buses do not use it.

The centre had been forced to rely on police to retrieve patients who wanted to return to their often non-existent homes and families.

Then Benrath teamed up with a local care association called the "Old Lions". They went to the Rheinbahn transport network which supplied the bus stop.

"It sounds funny but it helps," said Franz-Josef Goebel, the chairman of the "Old Lions" association.

"Our members are 84-years-old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works, but the long-term memory is still active.

"They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home."

The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.

"We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later and invite them in for a coffee," said Richard Neureither, Benrath's director. "Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave."

The idea has proved so successful that it has now been adopted by several other homes across Germany.


So wouldn't work unless they were used to sitting at bus stops and maybe the bus stop needs to be the same they're used to seeing - do you think?

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