The Ethical Issues Between Duties Of Care Vs. Autonomy Of Dementia Residents Living

The Ethical Issues Between Duties Of Care Vs. Autonomy Of Dementia Residents Living

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As nurses we owe a duty of care to our patients regardless of their race, status and age. In all our working life, we have to conduct our self in a way that is considered reasonable for someone in our position to do so. Reasonable conduct may be thought of as that which is acceptable, fair, honest, right and proper. However, this duty of care is questioned when it comes to dealing with preserving the autonomy of a person who is suffering from dementia in a nursing home. This research paper will focus on the ethical issues between duties of care vs. autonomy of dementia residents living in an aged care facility.

The increasing life expectancy in Australia has lead to an increase in the number of elderly people cared for in a nursing home. According to Alzheimer’s Australia 2016 there are more than 353,800 australians living with dementia. Dementia as describe is a degenerative disease that affects a persons thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday task. Moreover, their brain function is affected enough to interfere with the persons normal and social working life (Alzheimer’s Australia 2016). Due to physical frailty and deterioration of mental capacity these residents become vulnerable. According to Bolig G., Gjengedal E., and Rosland JH. (2014) found that dementia residents experience different challenges while living in nursing home such as adapting to their new environment, preserving their dignity and their autonomy. Since a resident suffering from dementia often are confused and loss their ability to perform their everyday task their autonomy are often neglected and questioned which puts the ethical responsibility of a nurse in question. A nurse working in a nursing home face various challenges such as refusal t...


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...u need is proper timing, planning and strategy. In addition, I believe that we need to improve the education and systematic ethical work in nursing homes. They should focus more on everyday ethical issues instead of focusing solely on end-of-life care and decision-making conflicts. Further research is also imperative on ways how to improve resident’s autonomy in a nursing home and include them in decision-making in an everyday basis. In few months I will be a registered nurse in Australia and I plan to continue my education to pursue my dreams of having Masters Degree in Nursing, this will be my third Masters Degree. I plan to do a more in-depth study regarding this particular issue. I believe that as health care evolves and break through technologies arise so should our strategies in managing the problems ones an irreversible phenomenon happens such as dementia.



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