Rehabilitation professionals in acute-care encounter individuals with dementia who reside in home, assisted-living, or long-term care prior to admission. Direct therapist roles may be limited to consultations, assessments, and/or swallowing, mobility, and self-cares. Case management typically falls upon social workers and nurse case-managers but the entire rehab team has a role in supporting safety while the individual is in acute-care. Hospital cognitive-status is likely much different than status in typical living environment and further complicated following admissions for falls, infections, dehydration, malnutrition, and medication management. We will discuss factors that contribute to making decisions about our roles in assessment and management.
Key players (disciplines) in an acute care context and their roles.
Roles of social workers and case managers in discharge planning.
Role of the system/team in managing behaviors, safety, and participation while an individual with dementia is hospitalized.
Key issues related to presence or lack of diagnosis, behavioral concerns and related management issues, swallowing concerns - meeting nutritional intake needs, cognitive effects on swallow, and/or physiological safety; follow through with precautions, counseling.
Screening measures versus standardized assessment batteries that are sensitive to identifying specific types of dementia.
Non-standardized and observational assessments that provide more information about functional performance and provide direction for treatment planning.