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2024 JAN Family Caregivers Blog

Family Caregivers' Blog is available to share helpful information to support families caring for those with dementia.



Hospitalization is Necessary, Yet Complex

Mr. A's husband exhibited symptoms of aggression, leading to his hospitalization. The primary reason for admission was to adjust medications and reduce violent behavior associated with dementia. Initially, he was placed in a geriatric ward, but with difficulties in medication adjustment and the environmental change from the facility to the hospital, his condition did not improve. Furthermore, he experienced falls, making walking difficult, eventually leading to reliance on a wheelchair. Medication adjustment takes time, but in the hospital, the time for monitoring progress is limited, leading to struggles with medication dosages. In a hospital environment devoid of activities or entertainment, his spirits appeared low, and his dementia seemed to worsen. Just when A was wondering when her husband could return to the facility, she received a call from the hospital suggesting transferring him to a Tertiary Care Hospital. Tertiary Care Hospitals provide long-term care environments for patients needing treatments like medication adjustments beyond what acute care hospitals typically offer. As his violent symptoms persisted and the standard hospital treatment time was insufficient, the Tertiary Care Hospital became the remaining option for treatment. However, with environmental changes, falls, medication mismatches, inability to walk, and mood declines, many negative aspects emerged, making the situation challenging. It's also difficult for the family to witness the worsening condition of their loved one, feeling powerless and unable to do anything. What was supposed to be a hospitalization for recovery has turned into an unexpected situation due to various circumstances. Entrust treatment to hospital staff and ask questions about anything unclear. Families should also take care of themselves and engage in activities with the patient to provide comfort and support. Moreover, participants emphasized the importance of communicating family needs to the hospital staff. Family care and treatment should be a collaborative effort between medical staff and family members, making it crucial to convey family voices to the medical staff. There are many things that medical staff may not see, so do not hesitate to express family concerns and act as advocates for the cared-for family members!

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