How Can You Overcome Refusal Of Care in Dementia Patients?

How Can You Overcome Refusal Of Care in Dementia Patients

Sometimes, medically required treatment care is refused by patients with dementia. It is within our scope of practice and area of competence as rehabilitation therapists to use our talents to support caregivers and increase the chance that patients will receive the treatment they require. Discover five strategies to guarantee that your dementia patients receive critical care in this post.

How to Encourage Treatment Compliance

If you’ve ever had the chance to work with someone who has dementia, you’ve undoubtedly had situations where your help or services were turned down. You may consider the following consequences if you skip a music or art therapy session: Maybe your supervisor will push you to come back and try again, or maybe your day will end abruptly. The more worrying problem is that people with dementia who turn down therapeutic services may also be turning down the care that they need for their health. Any form of refusal to get therapy is an issue that requires our expertise as therapists to address.

Paid or unpaid, caregivers frequently have extremely limited time and resources at their disposal. On the other hand, professionals such as speech-language pathologists and other rehab therapists possess the necessary skills, resources, experience, education, and neurological understanding to devote sufficient time to these patients. We have the ability to raise their standard of living. We have the responsibility and expertise to improve compliance. Therefore, how can therapists accomplish that? These are the following five crucial tactics:

Model Appropriate Communication

The way that people communicate alters when they have dementia. Caregiver requests for attention and subsequent verbal and nonverbal directions are crucial to the completion of care chores such as dressing, taking a shower, and using the restroom for people with dementia. The following are some pointers that you may use and share with caregivers:

  • Build a relationship. It is important to be loved right away in the trade. You may approach them directly, take your time, get to their level, and introduce yourself.
  • Speak clearly. We use colloquial phrases far more frequently than we realize. When speaking with someone who has dementia, it’s important to say what you mean.
  • Don’t use as many pronouns. He, she, it, that, here, and there are pronouns that refer to nouns that were previously discussed. When you ask someone with memory loss to perform anything, you run the risk of forgetting what you asked of them if you use pronouns.
  • Reduce your speed. Not only should we speak more slowly, but we should also wait longer between our words and their responses. Between ideas, deliberate pauses can offer much-needed processing time.

Assume Objections Are Valid

While someone with dementia might not always be able to articulate their needs clearly, they often provide clues about why they’re refusing care. It could be a nonverbal sign of discomfort, a frustrated outburst, or even a simple “no.” By paying close attention to their behavior and past experiences, we can often decipher the reason behind their resistance. This understanding helps us tailor our approach and ensure they receive the care they need.

Support Independence

Even after being diagnosed with dementia, a person’s value for autonomy does not diminish. Assisted individuals with dementia may be more responsive to care than those who get complete job completion from a third party. Instead of employing signals or varying degrees of help, caregivers may decide to take over a job if they see that it is getting difficult. Our specialty as therapists is enhancing independence! By enabling people with dementia to assist themselves in a way that is both physically and cognitively acceptable, we can help increase compliance.

Prepare the Environment

A person with dementia may become less eager to comply with care if their perception and interaction with their surroundings change. A person may be more inclined to refuse treatment if they feel overstimulated and in danger, or if they lack the necessary tools to engage in a job physically.

Try using a transfer bench on a patient who is afraid when taking a shower, and instruct the caregiver on how to use it. For a patient who becomes quickly frustrated, you might teach caregivers to arrange all clothes in the patient’s order of application and to orient them so the patient is not forced to choose which side is front. This would help the patient dress more compliantly. As therapists, we have a great deal of expertise adjusting to the surroundings of our patients.

Wrapping it Up!

Memory loss and disorientation are two prominent symptoms that people with dementia encounter. This may cause someone to lose track of time and place and have little recollection of the previous day. Many of our regular duties depend on this sort of knowledge, even if we are unaware of it. On certain days, you might take a shower only because you know you should every morning, rather than because you feel unclean. You may sip on some water not because you’re thirsty but rather because you realize you’ve only had coffee for the whole day. However, with personalized care options, you can see improvements in the Dementia patients.

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