Perhaps one of the most extreme challenges that owners and workers at assisted living facilities face is caring for a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s. Most nurses, regardless of training and experience, will recognize the challenges of treating people suffering from the effects of this disease.
Many of those inflicted will demonstrate behavior that may be out of character or puzzling, making it difficult to determine just how much is their personality at work, and how much is a direct result of the disease. The likelihood that they could cause self-inflicted injuries, or cause harm to others, demonstrates another reason for assisted living insurance.
Patient’s suffering from Alzheimer’s need constant monitoring
These behaviors can be disturbing, and even detrimental to other residents, and often signal distress, which may cause additional problems for everyone in the environment, including caregivers saddled with the task of keeping them calm and safe. In many situations, the behaviors observed are the result of cognitive impairment, a global term that describes a wide range of disabilities that vary from mild to severe.
The problem is likely to become more common over time
Nurses can quite likely expect to encounter an increasing number of older adults with cognitive impairment and other accompanying behavioral symptoms. Studies have found that, among older adults living in the community, one in 10 over age 65, and nearly half of those over age 85 have some form of dementia. Rates among institutionalized older people are even greater, as nearly half of current nursing home residents have dementia, and recent evidence suggests rates in assisted living facilities exceed 60%.
An estimated 4.5 million Americans currently have Alzheimer disease, a number that is predicted to grow to over 13 million by 2050. Equally important is the estimation that 83% of older adults with a cognitive disorder also experience behavioral symptoms.
In a nursing home environment, this could lead to more and more cases of injuries, whether accidental or intentional, and is a cause for serious concern. As has been noted elsewhere, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia can be a major source of distress for caregivers and oftentimes lead to institutionalization.
Therefore, those caregivers in assisted living facilities needs are often an important focus of nursing care, including education in managing behavioral symptoms. Owners need to make sure that nurses have the proper training, and should provide assisted living insurance for any possible litigation occurring from related incidents.