You May Be the Only (and Best) WitnessMany caregivers have heard the phrase, “If you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person.” All it takes is a short conversation with a medical provider to find out that they agree.
One of the primary barriers to improving both the office visit experience and the adjustment of care plans is the difficulty in objectively measuring and communicating the individual symptoms each person with dementia experiences.
When fighting a progressive, ever-changing disease, the importance of communicating person-specific symptoms is magnified.
Reversible, dementia-exacerbating factors such as lack of sleep, urinary tract infection (UTI), malnutrition, dehydration, or reaction to medications all have the potential to be successfully managed if the medical team knows how and when they are happening.
Family caregivers are thrust into the position of being both the only (and best) witness to the way the disease process is progressing in a loved one.
They have the added advantage of knowing when even subtle changes are occurring. These clues make a difference in altering treatment and care in a way that can improve, and perhaps even prolong a better quality of life.
But it can be difficult for family caregivers to collect and communicate the clues to their doctors.
“The Person-Centered Signs and Symptoms of Dementia Tracker” is a communication tool designed to better track individual symptoms and facilitates more meaningful conversations around tailored care and treatment options.
The Tracker lists over 50 of the most commonly occurring dementia symptoms grouped into categories such as:
Orientation, Communication, Bathing/Grooming, Nutrition/Hydration, Behavior, Judgment, Engagement, Toileting, Physical Changes, and Wandering/Safety.
The family caregiver simply indicates by check mark if a particular symptom is occurring in their loved one “Daily,” “Weekly” “Monthly” or “Never.”
Caregivers are encouraged to complete and date the checklist every 30 days or upon significant change in condition.
This one-page checklist offers quick completion on the part of the caregiver and fast review by the health care provider.
Click on the link below to download your FREE copy of the Person-Centered Symptom Tracker, and have a much more satisfying medical visit, with better results.
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