Restlessness and Agitation in People With Dementia

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Restlessness and Agitation in People With Dementia

Restlessness and agitation are common in people with dementia. Cohen M

et al (1986) attempted to define restlessness and agitation as "

inappropriate verbal, vocal or motor activity" associated by 29

behaviors including general restlessness, constant attention seeking,

complaining, negativism, pacing and screaming.

In my nursing placement I experienced a case of vascular dementia. The

name of patient, the name of the ward and hospital should remain

unmentioned in the essay in order to maintain confidentiality. Mr

Hastie (not real name) an 80 years old man attracted my attention with

his sudden periodic out bursts of anger and restlessness. At the time

of these outbursts he used to pace round the ward, shouting abusive

language at anyone who stood in his way, whether it was a member of

staff or other patients. During these periodic outbursts he used to

become very aggressive, show his fist to staff trying to stop him, try

to lift any furniture around, i.e. TV, Piano, and Chairs. I was very

curious as to why he behaved in the way he did. I observed him for a

couple of days. I also read his case note, talked with his carers,

which helped me to understand more about his physical and mental

state. I found out that he had these sudden outbursts of anger and

restlessness, when he was not busy and active. I also found out that

his two daughters whom he loved very much could calm him down very

easily, while the staffs at the home had never managed to do so. By

reading his past history, I found out that as a young person, he had a

very active and busy life as a bar staff, and a cab driver. Du...

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