Never Argue With Dementia (and Other Nuggets of Nursing Wisdom) - page 6

It never're walking down the hall to check on your new patient when you hear an aide loudly attempting to persuade sweet, confused, deaf-as-a-post Ethel to get into bed "BECAUSE IT'S... Read More

  1. by   mamatara
    I have run many a dogs out of the room that were bothering my dementia patients. Other people would argue that they didn't see them, you're at the hospital, etc only leading to increased anxiety because those darn dogs were still bothering them! I will reorient my pt that just get somewhat confused and can be reoriented and I also treat my psych patients differently. I have a daughter who has schizophrenia and I find the most important thing over anything else with her is assuring her that she is safe. Also how I deal with my psych patients depends where in the continuim of rationality they are. One thing I always like to tell new nurses that I learned through my personal experience is you cannot rationalize with irrationality. I read a really interesting article the other week. If I am ever in a nursing home please put me here:

    Please let me eat chocolate!
  2. by   nkochrn
    thanks so much for sharing, I graduated in 2003 as an LPN and worked full time in a nursing for awhile. Re-orienting the demented was rarely, if ever successful. I agree that the only thing to do is agree with the patient and not argue.
  3. by   JustKizzy
    I know I'm years late to this discussion, however...
    God bless you all... it takes a very special person to do your job.
    I am not a nurse but, both of my parents are in a LTC facility with severe dementia. This issue of reorientation is very real for me; their health is very good (not even general geriatric issues) and we could conceivably carry on like this for years. The difference in their day-to-day mental health is very obvious depending on who is working their ward that day... reorienting NEVER works, and avoidance only causes more distress. The best caregivers take that extra two minutes to listen and placate and cajole. This is a no restraint facility, so they use drugs that specifically warn of dangers in use in elderly patients... very frustrating. Mom is in a locked ward; Dad is on a short hall (as they don't have a ward for males). The issues of reorientating and not letting them visit each other when family isn't there have caused all sorts of grief. Seems like it would be much easier on all involved to take 10 minutes to let them see each other and have a cup of tea than to argue for 3 hours and purposely avoid letting them have contact. Thank you for this article and all the comments; it is so reassuring and feels like validation!
    On the lighter side;
    They are in their 90's and spend most of their time in the 1940's; Mom was an RN and Dad a pilot in WWII. Mom is redirected with 'charts' of her own to review and 'making rounds' and spends her time comforting other patients... when she's not firing the 'girls' and sending exhausted aides home to rest, or 'lazy' aides off to clean "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!" Dad often thinks he's in an military hospital, and is only redirected with reminders that he needs to 'recover' in order to return to his wife.
    This is such a sad, sad disease.
    Thank you, again, to all of you who choose to help these patients have some peace, and maintain a wee bit of dignity.