Alzheimer’s disease is slowly and surely taking away the memories and eventually, the lives of millions of people around the world. In America alone, more than 5 million people are already living with progressive disease and that number is set to reach 14 million by 2050. But while there has been a lot of discussion about the disease and its patients, little has been said about the people who work in an Alzheimer’s facility.
From a nurse’s perspective, caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease is more than just a 9 to 5 job. In fact, money comes second because working in facilities for Alzheimer’s means that you need to be truly committed to caring for your patients and giving them the best quality of life while they deal with this debilitating and progressive disease.
What does a day in the job look like?
The job of a nurse caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is unique in the sense that it’s not just about making sure medications are taken on time and vital signs are monitored.
It is your goal to make sure that your patient has a safe and caring environment where they can live a good life even as their disease progresses. You assist your patients with their needs and make sure healthcare requirements are met while still giving them as much independence as possible.
What are the biggest challenges of the job?
Facilities for Alzheimer’s are unique and challenging at the same time. Patients with Alzheimer’s deal with changes in their daily life skills and behaviors, and you also need to consider their age, which makes everything a challenging process.
But with the right techniques and skills, you can always provide person-centered care that allows the patient to live a normal life despite battling with Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the biggest benefits of the job?
As tiring as being a nurse in an Alzheimer’s care facility is, nothing is more rewarding than knowing that your patient is happy. A lot of nurses feel so much joy seeing a patient who hasn’t smiled or talked to anyone open up to them and feel that connection with them.
While taking care of the elderly demands more patience, hard work, and perseverance, they are also some of the most caring people you’ll know and they always make sure to let you know that your efforts are highly appreciated.
Nurses who work in facilities for Alzheimer’s are not just your regular professionals. Caring for a special group of individuals who are dealing with such a huge and debilitating disease is not an easy task. In fact, only a few committed professionals can last the job.
But more than the specialized training and set of skills, it’s the passion for the job that will keep nurses motivated to make sure that their patients get the best quality of life as they go through the unique journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
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