Care nurses must cooperate with care home managers to ensure their customers have provided not only their basic physical needs, but also a provision of personalised mental treatment. Nurses and cares should spend intensive periods with patients to provide care by developing a therapeutic relationship and delivering evidence-based best practices.
Despite some limitations, care residents can enjoy various activities that affect their physical and mental abilities. Here are some critical nursing interventions that can enhance the quality of life of people living in care and nursing homes.
There is extensive evidence that exercise slows the deterioration in physical performance, allowing patients to continue successfully performing activities in their routine and maintain a higher level of independent living. It also eases tension and stress, encourages socialising, and helps people in care enjoy diversity.
During the pandemic, many care home patients had minimal opportunities to go outside, which impacted their mental health. Care teams are under pressure to develop solutions to support patients’ physical, social; emotional and mental health.
Regular gymnastics can be a simple solution, but practising some of the eastern martial arts with philosophy or dancing can add additional entertainment and meaning to the exercise. Nurses must encourage the organisation of such activities and monitor the patients’ performance to evaluate the physical condition of the patients and ensure their safety.
People living in care homes, especially those with dementia, often experience isolation and loneliness. Regular socialisation should not be avoided but encouraged even for people with late phases of dementia, who also need regular human contact. Nurses should answer this call offering regular reflection and maintenance of personal welfare.
Encourage mental stimulation
Nurses must find ways to support patients’ cognitive functionality by providing mental stimulation. Music proves to be an excellent tool for encouraging self-expression and engagement. Many studies show that lessening to different styles of music, performing music and singing reduces stress; improves the mood, supports engagement, and evokes strong emotional response even from people with late stages of dementia.
Other intense stimulations for the mind include public reading, drawing classes, and playing traditional and video games to teach new skills. All these activities also allow nurses to monitor if cognitive functions deviate from the norms.
Encourage meaningful and independent life.
With age ability to cohesively perform tasks such as planning and organising is compromised, especially in patients with dementia. They often need help to perform many day-to-day activities. In their role, nurses must encourage independence and educate carers advocating autonomy. Residents must participate as much as possible in their personal care, as being active participants in their own daily life enforces their sense of self and encourages self-respect.
Working with carers and families
Nurses need to work with families to understand more about their patient’s history, character, profession; hobbies, and life experiences, which is a critical element in the personalisation of the care. Nurses must also help families prepare and support the family through all stages of their journey. Nurses recognise the importance of family and their communication with the care home residents and offer holistic assessment and therapeutic touch.
Working against the dementia stigma
Nurses should help raise awareness about such conditions as dementia, educate people and families about the syndrome, and help break the marginalisation of patients living with dementia. They have to ensure all patients receive equally respectful personal care.