Nursing: Alzheimer's Disease: Challenges, Interventions, and Approaches to Care

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About the Course

This course focuses on the nurse's role in assessing and intervening to address communication challenges, nutrition, incontinence, falls and restraint use, and pain and hospitalization for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to think beyond the physical care of the person with dementia.  The course also examines spirituality, palliative and end-of-life care, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Discuss nursing best practices for communicating with older adult patients, including patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
  • Describe how to provide patient-centered care, including the use of touch therapy and humor therapy to patients who have AD.
  • Discuss nutritional concerns in patients with AD.
  • Discuss the nursing process for incontinence in patients with AD.
  • Discuss falls, fall prevention, and restraint use in patients with AD.
  • Explain the assessment and management of pain in patients with AD and the reasons for hospitalization.
  • Recognize the need to incorporate holistic nursing care into practice, discuss the concepts of spirituality, and formulate the special palliative care and end-of-life needs of people with AD.
  • Recognize common principles and models for understanding, preventing, and responding to the challenging behaviors of patients with AD.
  • Recognize common non-pharmacologic interventions for managing the behavior of patients with AD and how these interventions can be incorporated into nursing practice. 
  • Identify and apply the pharmacologic principles that guide the care of older adults with AD.

This course is an extract of, and should not be taken with the course Alzheimer's Disease: Definitions, Diagnostics, and Patient-Centered Care.

About the Author:
Jacqueline Close, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA

Jacqueline Close, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA, received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Corpus Christi State University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation research examined the documentation of a systematic assessment for delirium in hospitalized older adult patients who had been medicated with select  antipsychotic medications.  Currently a clinical associate professor in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing and the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program at the University of San Diego, Dr. Close has been a practicing nurse for over 30 years. A board-certified Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist since 2008, her experience spans a number of nursing practice areas, including medical, surgical, orthopedic, critical care, gastroenterology, psychiatry, and gerontology. Areas of professional interest include delirium, dementia, palliative, fall prevention, and end-of- life care.  Dr. Close serves on the board and is very active in the National Gerontological Nursing Association and served as a member of the American Nurses Association Gerontological Nursing Scope & Standards of Practice revision and update in 2010. She is a member of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Sigma Theta Tau International, Zeta Mu at-Large Chapter, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

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