Alzheimer's patients are fighting an uphill battle for normalcy and comfort in their caring environments. While this condition starts as nothing more than a mild inconvenience, eventually all Alzheimer's patients need escalating care to keep them safe and comfortable.
For Alzheimer's patients' families, the progression is painful to watch and scary to endure. It's like watching a sculpture crumble, bit by bit until all that's left is a pile of rubble that once was.
The time in between diagnosis and final stages is complicated. There is much to know and even more to keep a record of. Families struggle to keep care providers informed, and medical professionals aware of changes that may signal more care is needed. How does the care team keep up with all of it and still be able to maintain excellent care?
Caring For Alzheimer's Patients Requires More Communication Than Most
While most diagnoses and treatment plans come standard with patient notes that are written primarily by the doctors and nurses who are providing care, more is needed for Alzheimer's patients. Outside of medical treatment comes all of the other information required to keep a patient like this on an even keel. A deteriorating mind doesn't know that memory and time are fragmenting — the logical steps a healthy mind takes become messy for Alzheimer's patients.
"My father knew who I was, and he knew my daughter was his granddaughter, but he didn't make the connection to how we were related anymore."
-Alzheimer's Patient's Daughter.
Statements like these are common in Alzheimer's families. The information and history that we contain in our minds everyday leak out and spill everywhere for Alzheimer's patients. Families struggle to cope as they grieve what once was and still be able to support the suffering patient. Denial about these conditions and their inevitable progression are the worst enemies in fighting this illness.
It is the simple things your patient's family knows about them that may serve to be the best information needed for the comfort and care of your patient. Favorite foods, the fact that mom or dad may not like air conditioning, favorite TV shows, or music are the kinds of things that care providers should know about.
A patient in declining behavioral health should be kept as comfortable as possible. A lot of that has to do with things in their environment that can either soothe or prove to irritate. The wealth of information that your patient's family has concerning your patient cannot be underrated.
Wise care providers seek out personal care and environment information from family members who will be happy to make anything known to help. The best care team for an Alzheimer's patient actively involves members of the patient's family.
Information Collection And Sharing Is Critical For Patient Care Success
Alzheimer's patients may transition through several different levels of care before they wind up at a memory care center or skilled nursing facility. What happens to all that pertinent information as the patient migrates from one care scenario to another?
It's not enough just to have patient notes from nurses and doctors. Care providers at other levels of care, such as CNAs, or PCAs have valuable information about these kinds of patients everyone on the care team should know about. CNAs and PCAs are on the front lines of daily care delivery.
They interact with patients much more than anyone else on the care team. Shouldn't they be able to share information just like everyone else on the care team in a way that would be useful to those making care decisions?
Document and information sharing is growing in popularity in the medical care community. Hospitals are seeing the value of providing patients access to their patient notes, and other providers see good use in making online tools available to their patients. How can we put all this together for the better care of Alzheimer's patients?
eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to position memory care professionals ahead of the curve when it comes to information sharing and management of Alzheimer's patients. Throughout the diagnosis, treatment, and hospice care of Alzheimer's patients, information can be collected and shared to every member of an Alzheimer's patient's care team, regardless of where they are.
Care systems only have their EHR to input information into. eCare Vault is completely EHR agnostic, cloud-based, and HIPAA secure. You can share information any time, anywhere, to anyone on the patient care team. How's that for seamless care management? If you'd like to find out more about how eCare Vault can help your Alzheimer's care organization better serve your Alzheimer's patients, contact us for a free consultation today.