Working in the field of aged care, a nurse expects to come across residents with various physical and mental disabilities. These people are in care because of their inability to perform essential activities of daily living. Therefore it becomes the nurse's responsibility to understand and care for the residents and their respective disabilities.
Such complications likely to be encountered working in aged care could include Communication, a high percentage of residents in care have dementia and cannot comprehend the message being sent, in some cases are unable to construct a coherent reply. This communication struggle is frustrating, and could be one of the causes of behavioral issues. Disruptive and abnormal behavior is common and may be a result of dementia, causing the resident to do obscene things without comprehension. Attention seeking activities and violence may be the result of emotions such as fear, anxiety, boredom and resentment. Mobility is affected; old age through to an accident or disease in their lifetime, if not through dementia, the mobility of an elderly person is generally somewhat reduced.
Many residents are wheelchair bound and others use walking frames. Along with age and deterioration of the body comes hearing and vision deficits. These greatly affect the care, and level of care required also adding to a residents frustration levels.
Following these complications, questions arise as to what can be done. How does one get around the communication barrier? Are there any special care requirements that need to be taken for the resident with a disability? What can be done to help reduce the residents stress, disruptive behavior, fear and anxiety?
Getting around the communication barrier requires time and patience. "Residents with dementia may have limited attention spans" (Ortegara 2004) this makes it difficult for them to follow conversations as they are "only...