Depending on the severity of the injury and what body systems are involved, overcoming an injury can be difficult for anyone. But, for those who suffer from a cognitive impairment or dementia, recovery can be even more difficult. For these people, skilled nursing and rehabilitative care are even more important to ensure a safe recovery and reduce further injury. Join us in today’s post as we discuss how overcoming an injury is more difficult for those suffering from dementia.
Forgetting the injury.
For many people, when you don’t feel the pain of an injury, you tend not to remember, and then when you move, you are instantly reminded. For those with cognitive impairment, pain may not be an instant reminder, and some injuries don’t cause significant pain or pain that lasts as long as the injury. Memory impairment and confusion can cause them to forget about the injury completely. This can pose a risk of reinjury or complications of the injury.
Difficulty expressing pain.
For those with cognitive impairment, expressing pain may not be exhibited in the same way as other people. For instance, instead of saying “oww” or grabbing at the area of pain, they may simply seem agitated and even angry. Even when directly asked “are you having pain?” they may not be able to answer or be aware of what they are or are not feeling. When pain is not properly managed, healing and recovery can be significantly delayed. Medical staff that is trained in the treatment of patients with cognitive impairment can better anticipate, assess, and manage symptoms of pain.
Less compliance with therapy.
People who suffer from cognitive impairment tend to be less compliant with rehab methods and therapy. This isn’t necessarily because they are intentionally noncompliant, but because they may not understand or remember everything they are told. During the acute phase of injury recovery, the injured person is learning so many things including what their injury means, how it impacts their daily activities, how to work around it, and what they should do to recover. When a person suffers from any sort of cognitive impairment, it makes comprehension and memory difficult, resulting in less compliance with therapy and recovery. This can cause a delay in recovery.
For any sort of orthopaedic injury, there will be a specific set of precautions, that do not coincide with normal movements. For instance, for a hip replacement, the hip should not be bent more than a 90 degree angle. For those who suffer from some sort of cognitive impairment, they may not remember the precautions or easily recall them when moving about. Breaking the precautions can lead to complications of the injury.
If your loved one is suffering from both an injury and dementia, seek the services of a skilled facility that specializes in memory care. At Serenity Gardens, our staff is specially trained in caring for those with cognitive deficiencies. Contact us to schedule your tour today!