Assessing and Treating Clients with Dementia

The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life” (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). This term encompasses dozens of cognitive disorders of impaired memory formation, recall, and communication. The care and treatment of clients with dementia is dependent on multiple factors, including the stage of dementia, comorbidities, family support, and even the care setting. In your role, as the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, you must be prepared to not only treat clients with these various cognitive disorders, but also the multiple behavioral issues that often accompany them. For this Assignment, as you examine the client case study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with dementia.

Examine Case Study: An Elderly Iranian Man w/ Alzheimer’s Disease

You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this client. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the client’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.
At each decision point there will be three decisions. I will choose one out of the three and give the outcome. At each decision point these are the thoughts to ponder:
Decision #1
Which decision did you select?
Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #1 and the results of the decision. Why were they different?
Decision #2
Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #2 and the results of the decision. Why were they different?
Decision #3
Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #3 and the results of the decision. Why were they different?
***Also include how ethical considerations might impact your treatment plan and communication with clients. ***
Finally: 1. Complete the decision tree (keep track of what you selected. come up with a rational reason why you chose it. Come up with patient specific rational reason behind not choosing the other two options not chosen).
2. Write paper addressing all section listed based on the decision tree.

Case Study: An Elderly Iranian Man with Alzheimer’s Disease

BACKGROUND

Mr. Akkad is a 76 year old Iranian male who is brought to your office by his eldest son for “strange behavior.” Mr. Akkad was seen by his family physician who ruled out any organic basis for Mr. Akkad’s behavior. All laboratory and diagnostic imaging tests (including CT-scan of the head) were normal.
According to his son, he has been demonstrating some strange thoughts and behaviors for the past two years, but things seem to be getting worse. Per the client’s son, the family noticed that Mr. Akkad’s personality began to change a few years ago. He began to lose interest in religious activities with the family and became more “critical” of everyone. They also noticed that things he used to take seriously had become a source of “amusement” and “ridicule.”
Over the course of the past two years, the family has noticed that Mr. Akkad has been forgetting things. His son also reports that sometimes he has difficult “finding the right words” in a conversation and then will shift to an entirely different line of conversation.

SUBJECTIVE

During the clinical interview, Mr. Akkad is pleasant, cooperative and seems to enjoy speaking with you. You notice some confabulation during various aspects of memory testing, so the PMHNP performs a Mini-Mental State Exam. Mr. Akkad scores 18 out of 30 with primary deficits in orientation, registration, attention & calculation, and recall. The score suggests moderate dementia.

MENTAL STATUS EXAM

Mr. Akkad is 76 year old Iranian male who is cooperative with today’s clinical interview. His eye contact is poor. Speech is clear, coherent, but tangential at times. He makes no unusual motor movements and demonstrates no tic. Self-reported mood is euthymic. Affect however is restricted. He denies visual or auditory hallucinations. No delusional or paranoid thought processes noted. He is alert and oriented to person, partially oriented to place, but is disoriented to time and event [he reports that he thought he was coming to lunch but “wound up here”- referring to your office, at which point he begins to laugh]. Insight and judgment are impaired. Impulse control is also impaired as evidenced by Mr. Akkad’s standing up during the clinical interview and walking towards the door. When the PMHNP asked where he was going, he stated that he did not know. Mr. Akkad denies suicidal or homicidal ideation.

Diagnosis: Major neurocognitive disorder due to Alzheimer’s disease (presumptive)

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