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Supporting a Couple When One Has Dementia

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Supporting a Couple When One Has Dementia

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Overview of Teaching Strategy

The diagnosis of dementia is often devastating for the family who is left helpless to the cognitive changes dramatically affecting functioning of their loved one. The behavioral and personality changes that often ensue can be life-changing for the patient and the spouse. The dynamics of the relationship can undergo dramatic cognitive, physical and emotional changes precipitating a spectrum of emotions ranging from anger to frustration to overwhelming sadness.  In addition, the physical toll on the caregiving spouse puts him or her at higher risk for physical and emotional strain. 

This teaching strategy focuses on supporting the spouse when a diagnosis of dementia changes the relationship. It looks not only at the emotional and educational support needed for the best possible outcomes, but also at the economic challenges of managing the needs of a patient with dementia. 

Learning Objectives

Students will:
 

  • Develop a plan of care for the spouse of a patient diagnosed with dementia
  • Assess the support resources appropriate for the care-giving spouse
  • Identify the emotional struggles related to changes in the relationship when a spouse is diagnosed with dementia
  • Correlate functionality with level of care needs in a patient with dementia
  • Assess the financial requirements to meet the level of care needs in a patient with dementia 

ACES Essential Knowledge Domains 

  • Individualized Aging
  • Vulnerability During Transitions 

ACES Essential Nursing Actions 

  • Assess Function and Expectation
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions 

NLN Competencies for Nursing Education 

  • Human Flourishing
  • Nursing Judgement

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