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Managing Behaviors Associated with Alzheimer’s Dementia: A Non-Pharmacologic Approach Teaching Strategy

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Getting Started 

1.   What Would You Say? What Would You Do? Activity

These mini case studies portray common issues of agitation with Alzheimer’s dementia. Click onto the PowerPoint of mini case studies. Each slide has a scenario with speaker’s notes and additional resources to help the instructor guide the student through the process of managing behavioral issues associated with Alzheimer’s dementia. 

2.   Click onto the Ertha unfolding case study.

This simulation series helps students recognize, assess, and intervene in behaviors commonly seen with Alzheimer’s dementia. Ertha’s symptoms worsen as the dementia progresses and as she experiences multiple transitions. The vulnerability of these transitions affects the behavioral problems associated with her dementia. The simulation can be done in its entirety, or the monologue and situation can be introduced at the start of a lecture. 

  • Click here for the faculty guide to look at issues in each simulation scenario that pertains specifically to the behavioral complications involving Ertha. Included in this guide are suggestions to guide the conversation and both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to address Ertha’s behavioral issues. 
  • Utilize the following resources within this simulation to better assess Ertha’s cognitive behavioral issues: 

Mental Status Assessment of Older Adults: The Mini-CogTM
Tool
Video

Fulmer SPICES: An Overall Assessment Tool for Older Adults
Tool
Video

Assessing Pain in Persons with Dementia
Tool
Video 

  • Utilize the following questions to help further process the content in this simulation. These can be especially helpful if using the monologue alone: 
  1. What are your concerns about this patient?
  2. What is the cause of the concern?
  3. What information do you need?
  4. What are you going to do about it?
  5. What is the patient experiencing? 

Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., Day, L., & Shulman, L. (2010). Paradigm case: Lisa Day, classroom and clinical instructor. In Educating nurses: A call for radical transformation (p. 133). San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. 

3.   Click onto the Judy Jones unfolding case

This case focuses on a client who has delirium superimposed on a dementia. She demonstrates an acute change in mental status, which is the hallmark of delirium. The case can be simulated in its entirety, or the monologue and situation scenarios can be introduced at the start of a lecture. 

  • Click here for the faculty guide to look at issues in each simulation scenario that pertains specifically to the behavioral complications involving Judy Jones. Within this guide are suggestions to guide the conversation and include both pharmacological and non- pharmacological interventions to address Judy’s behavioral issues. 
  • Utilize the following resources within this simulation to better understand behavioral issues with Judy Jones. 

Confusion Assessment Method:
Tool
Video

Mental Status Assessment of Older Adults: The Mini-Cog TM
Tool
Video

Assessing and Managing Delirium in Older Adults with Dementia
Tool
Video

Recognition of Dementia in Hospitalized Older Adults
Tool
Video

  • Utilize the following questions to help further process the content in this simulation. These can be especially helpful if using the monologue alone. 
  1. What are your concerns about this patient?
  2. What is the cause of the concern?
  3. What information do you need?
  4. What are you doing to do about it?
  5. What is the patient experiencing?

Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., Day, L., & Shulman, L. (2010). Paradigm case: Lisa Day, classroom and clinical instructor. In Educating nurses: A call for radical transformation (p. 133). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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