Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. 35 million people world-wide have Alzheimer’s Disease. All EMS professionals have assessed, treated, and transported patients with dementia. Many of us have grand parents, parents, and/or aunts or uncles that have suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. Follow these Everyday EMS Tips for assessing and treating patients with dementia:
1. Understand the symptoms of dementia and how it is different from the normal aging process.
2. Know that patients with dementia progress through a predictable set of stages of impairment.
3. Rule out other causes of altered mental status like dehydration, hypothermia, hyperthermia, hypoxia, hypertension, electrolyte imbalances, and more.
4. Develop a rapport with the patient before approaching closely to avoid being struck.
5. Speak slowly and clearly, without shouting.
6. Allow the patient plenty of time to process your question and formulate an answer.
7. Remain calm without rushing the patient or speaking in a condescending tone.
If you are interested in learning more about Assessment and Treatment of Patient with Dementia visit RapidCE.com to view a CE lesson prepared by paramedic and long-term care facility operator Michael Fraley.