Effective communication Alzheimer’s can have an effect on an individual’s ability to communicate with others, however this is not always the case as one individual could be at a more serve stage of the disease so never treat the individual’s the same as it does affect people in different ways. Someone at the early stage of Alzheimer’s will still have the ability to interact with other individuals, therefore ensure that they are always included within the conversation when it’s about them and don’t just talk to the carer or family member. Having someone to talk about what they enjoy doing, how their feeling and what they may need help with will also help the individual more when they are coming to terms with the impact the disease may have on their life and allow them to still do what they want.The middle stage of Alzheimer’s is when an individual will begin to struggle with communicating. Therefore, make sure you engage the individual in one to one conversation so that there are no distractions, giving them eye contact at all times and being patient with them. This will help when it comes to communicating as it will give them the chance to lipread if needed and hear you clearly as If there is too much noise and you’re not looking in their direction it may stop them from being able to understand everything you have said. Asking the individual to many questions at one time can be very confusing, so ensure that only one question is being asked. It will give them the chance to think about what has just been asked and how they would like to respond. At some point during the conversation the individual may not be able to understand what you are trying to say or ask them, therefore on some occasions it might be better for you to write stuff down on notes for them to read.Later stages of Alzheimer’s disease are when its more severe and an individual can’t communicate anymore and relies on non-verbal communication. Although they are unable to communicate it important that you still spend time with the individual. Always make sure you identify who you are when you approach the person. Sometimes just being in their company is enough, you may not always be able to understand what an individual is trying to say to you, therefore make sure you encourage the person to point or gesture what it is they need or want to know. At all times make sure an individual is being treat with dignity and respect, even though they can’t communicate verbally they still have feelings (Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, 2019).Maintaining confidentiality Maintaining confidentiality is important for all individuals, their confidential information should only be shared when it is needed for safe and effective care for the individual. If an individual does not want their information to be shared then this should be respected, this means that further treatment can not happen because they require the individual’s medical history and information on their condition. Companies should make sure that policies and procedures are in place to ensure the rules of confidentiality are always being followed (NHS Digital, 2018).For GPs and specialists it’s important that after the end of every day that you clear your desktop and that all non-digital records containing individuals information is kept locked in a storage place when it is not supervised.Symptoms Each individual will be affected by Alzheimer’s in different ways and the individual will also suffer from different symptoms depending on what stage they are at.Early stages of Alzheimer’s:• Misplacing items • Forgetting about the most recent conversations• Struggling to remember names of places and objects • Asking the same question over and over • Need extra encouragement when making decisions, find it hard to make them on own.Middle stages of Alzheimer’s:• As the disease develops an individual’s memory beings to get worse• Forget people’s names including family members • Confused, getting lost, wondering round not knowing what time of day it Is• Speech problems • Disturbed sleep later stages of Alzheimer’s:• Difficulty eating • Need assistant when changing position/moving around • Weight loss (some occasions can be severe) • Gradual speech loss (nhs.uk, 2018)Explaining rights and choices when an individual is suffering from Alzheimer’s parts of their brain is affected, this will cause them problems with remembering, understanding and processing. Although this does not mean they don’t have the capacity to make a decision on their own, however it is more likely that a person’s independence will reduce overtime when the disease starts to get more severe. This will all depend on what type of dementia they are suffering from. It’s important to support someone with Alzheimer’s ensuring that you know what they may need in order to give them the chance to make decisions on their own for as long as possible. The mental capacity act 2005 provides a framework in England and wales for assessing capacity and for making decisions on behalf of individuals who may lack independency. For an individual who is at the later stages of dementia they will not have the capacity to make a decision for themselves, therefore it is important that any decision made for them is made in the individual’s best interest and will benefit them. Individual’s in the early/middle stages will still be able to communicate so the support to help them make a decision should always be there. This could include what they want to eat at meal times, what clothes they want to wear that day and any activities they may want to take part in (Alzheimer’s Society,2019). Respect of Dignity When an individual feel as though they aren’t being treated with respect, this can have an effect on them enjoying their life and feeling comfortable around those who are caring for them. There are many factors that you should ensure to take into consideration when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. This includes:• Choice and control • Communication • Personal hygiene • Privacy • Addressing the individual correctly• Eating and nutrition plan These may all seem like small and simple factors but to an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s it’s important that they feel that them and their choices are being respected. Being able to choose their own outfit daily will make them feel more comfortable as all individuals have a different style. Although this doesn’t mean you can’t help or offer them assistance and they may need help to get ready but not choosing their outfit for them. An individual with Alzheimer’s may start to need assistance with more personal care such as washing and bathing as they get in the later stages of the disease. This is an extremely private part of most people’s lives and their feelings must be taken into consideration when planning extra assistance for them. Bringing in the right gender to help them and having a chat with the person is important to find out their preferences and what they will feel comfortable with. Always involve and ask the individual what they would like to do for example if they want to take a bath or shower don’t just choose this for them, try and encourage them to be as independent as possible.Another important part of respecting someone’s dignity is getting to know what religion/culture they follow. Asking them questions and finding out what they like doing to support their religion, this can help the individual to remember and think about things from the past. For example, if there used to going to church every Sunday then don’t take this opportunity away from them. If you don’t know much about the particular culture then research about it this way you will be able to communicate more about it, start to have a good understanding and make them feel more comfortable about their beliefs.Ensure that you ask the individual what their favourite meal is and what they would like to eat that day. Don’t make this choice for them just to make it easier for yourself, mealtimes are most people’s best time of the day. It’s also important that you understand personal space, don’t take over their belonging without permission, respect their decision and always knock before you enter the room etc, unless they tell you otherwise. Never move or look through their personal stuff unless they ask or give you permission to do so (Burton, L.2016).Retaining professionalism Professionalism is all about an individual’s behaviour at work and how they act towards the individuals they are caring for. Within a care home setting there are many different ways in which professionalism is demonstrated. This could be by meeting the moral, confidentiality and ethical standards. If an individual doesn’t follow the rules of confidentiality this will have an effect on the individuals who are being cared for and also shows that person doesn’t know how to retain professionalism. Another way a carer or any health care professional can show professionalism is by accepting all individual’s no matter what race, religion or gender. None of these should affect an individual’s quality of care. When caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s it’s also important to be patient, remember some individuals may need more support than others. In any situation you should always stay professional and treat individuals with respect (Career Trend, 2017).Creating anatomy and independence Anatomy is based on someone having control and choice over an individual’s life. However, that does not mean you need to take a person’s independence away, doing daily tasks with them such as: shopping, going for walks this will all help maintain a person’s anatomy. Whether you’re a family member or carer you should never assume you know what an individual’s preferences are as these could change at any time. No matter how much support an individual requires it’s important that you still ask them what they want, including what to wear or eat that day (Dignityincare.org.uk, n.d)Additional needs in a care homeAt some point an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s may need to move into a care home, as sometimes it gets too much for the individual’s family and they need looking after 24/7.However It is always important to try and communicate with the individual to see what their preferences are regarding there care. In some circumstances an individual may not be able to make a decision for themselves therefore its important you choose what would be best for them and what care homes suit their needs. Depending on an individual’s symptoms and if there at early, middle or later stages of Alzheimer’s this could be a residential home or nursing home. Moving your loved one or someone you care for can put you at ease knowing that they are in a safe environment surrounded by nurses and carers who offer support to them 24/7.Social activities will also be available for them to join in with the other residents, being able to communicate and make relationship’s with the other individuals and carers. Residential care homes offer help with washing, giving medication, getting dressed and going to the toilet. Whereas nursing homes also offer personal care but also 24-hour care from qualified nurses, this type of care home will more than likely be better for those individuals who are at the later stages of Alzheimer’s. Individual’s will receive extra facilities and support when they need it for example at the later stages of Alzheimer’s an individual may be unable to eat or drink by themselves so a carer or nurse will always be there to help do this. Individuals may also not be able to move around or get out of bed of chairs and this is when extra support will come in such as a hoist which is used to help lift a person up keeping them out of as much pain and discomfort as possible. Wheelchairs, walking frames are also offered in care homes for those individuals who need them to help them get around as much as possible. Within the care home some individuals may have to wear continental pads which a carer or nurse will also be there to help get the individual changed when needed (nhs.uk, 2018).FundingSometimes individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s may be entitled to receive healthcare funding from the NHS, this will cover the full cost of your care whether your living within a care home setting or your own home. However, you will only qualify to receive this funding if you are classed as needing nursing care. Normally when you’re still living in your own home you pay for your care needs and any equipment, although this is based on your income and assets. When living in your own home you are still entitled to have a basic level of income. On some occasions when individual’s living within a care home they may still pay for all their care needs themselves, they will then be classed as a self-funder (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019).The care act sets the national rules for the cost of care, you will be expected to pay all your own care fees if your capital is above £23,250.An individual will receive help with the care fees of the local authority if your capital is below £14,250,although the care act does state that charges for care must be reasonable. If you’re below that amount your income will be used to pay for your care and you will be left with a personal expenses allowance. For an individual who is living on their own, their home will be included within the financial assessment, however if anyone of the following individual’s is still living there when a person is considering being moved into a care home setting the home will not be taken into account. For example:• Husband/wife/partner • Close relative over 60 years• A dependent child/relative with disability (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019).PIESThe main affect Alzheimer’s will have on individual’s is physically, they will need more help with mobility and movement as they develop through the stages. Some individuals may not be able to get out of bed/chair themselves therefore they will need to be lifted by a hoist which is available within the care homes. Individuals will also need help with personal care such as getting washed, getting incontinence pads changed which will be done by the caregivers. Apraxia is also another major affect Alzheimer’s has on people; this is a neurological disorder. A person will have difficulty to do daily living activities such as stopping or starting to walk, eating, getting dressed and washing. It also has an affect on individual’s communication skills. Individuals who suffer from this know exactly what they want to say or do but cannot demonstrate it. (Physio.co.uk, 2019)Individuals will be affected emotionally when there suffering from Alzheimer’s as they will have less control over their feelings. It’s also known for individuals at the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s to suffer from depression and anxiety, as this is a very worrying time for individuals. Having to come to terms with the diagnosis and thinking about how their life is going to be within the future and the changes that will occur.Socially individuals will be affected as they may no longer be able to hold a conversation or take part in activities with the other residents. Social withdrawal is sometimes known to occur years before a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this includes: avoiding friends, family and activities which they used to enjoy before. Impaired judgment is also affected this means an individual can sometimes be known to speak inappropriately Infront of others (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019). Intellectually Alzheimer’s will affect an individual as they will begin to repeat themselves, ask the same question over and over again. They will also begin to put objects in odd places and have no recognition of putting them there. People suffering this disease will have difficulty to express their thoughts and feelings.Language can be affected at any stage of Alzheimer’s and all depends on the individual as everyone is affected differently. They may struggle to find the correct work for something and may use a related word instead. Within the later stage individual’s may no longer be able to communicate at all using language, therefore support should be offered to find other ways to communicate with the person. It may also take them longer to respond and think about how to respond as it will take them longer to understand what is being said/asked (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019).
Table of Contents