Caring for elderly patients with dementia: nursing interventions

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Nursing: Research and Reviews


dementia, older adults, assessment, intervention, quality of life, elderly, cognitive decline


Elderly patients suffering from chronic cognitive decline/dementia are susceptible to poor quality of care which further erodes their quality of life. Seemingly benign events can create cascade iatrogenesis in those whose compensatory ability is compromised by impairments in multiple domains. Under recognition, misrecognition, or failure to intervene and manage this vulnerable population leads to suboptimal care. This places them at risk for cognitive decline, functional decline, and challenging behaviors, creating financial and emotional burdens for not only the patients but also family, staff, and organizations that are attempting to provide care. Identifying, managing, and therapeutically responding to confused elderly is complex. Recognizing the challenges makes the development of tools that guide comprehensive assessment planning, interpretation of findings, and treatment plans imperative. Innovative and effective assessment and interventional approaches are present in the literature. This article synthesizes the scientific evidence to guide clinicians to implement in practice.