Improving communication when caring for acutely ill patients with dementia
Cliff Kilgore Advanced practitioner, intermediate care, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, Dorset
Cliff Kilgore explains how person-centred care and multiprofessional training can help staff identify if an individual’s health is deteriorating
People living with dementia have complex needs, which may be compounded when they develop an acute illness. It is vital to recognise any deterioration in a patient and respond appropriately to prevent serious complications and, in some cases, mortality. It is necessary for all healthcare professionals to develop assessment skills that take account of potential communication difficulties. This article reviews the literature on communicating with people with dementia, and considers the main issues involved in managing patients with an acute illness who are already living with dementia. The aim is to ensure that nurses consider how they communicate in these situations and to recognise the benefits that can be gained by healthcare professionals and patients from enhanced communication.
Nursing Older People. 27, 4,35-38. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.4.35.e672Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 22 December 2014
Accepted: 23 March 2015