At many nursing homes, patients are thrust into daily routine that has little regard for their personal preferences or individual care needs. After all, if there were hundreds of patients on individualized schedules it would be difficult for staff to make sure each patient got the care that they require.
Or, maybe not?
An Arizona nursing home geared towards caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the the focus of the facility is on allowing patients to do exactly what they wish. Other than ensuring each patient is provided the care specified by their doctor, Beatitudes a facility in Phoenix, facility gives patients’ complete flexibility over what and when they do to fill their days.
By giving patients more control over their lives at Beatitudes, the facility hopes to improve the patients’ quality of life and generally make the facility a better place for both patients and staff. The flexibility is also thought to reduce the stress put upon Alzheimer’s patients who frequently have a difficult time when being ‘redirected’ — or encouraged to change tasks based on the requests of staff.
I certainly find this simple– but significant— change in providing care to be very encouraging in the care of Alzheimer’s patients. If successful, hopefully other facilities can implement parts of this program.
Caring for Alzheimer’s patients
Indeed the needs of Alzheimer’s patients may be quite unique from those of other patients at the nursing home. In order to maximize the potential of each Alzheimer’s patient some expert’s suggest:
- Recognizing the progressive nature of the disease
- Incorporating as many of the person’s life’s passions into their routines
- Re-phrasing terms of minimize the stress put upon patients when talking
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog entries: