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Using Case Study Betsy to Understand Down Syndrome & Dementia

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Using Case Study Betsy to Understand Down Syndrome & Dementia

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Overview of Teaching Strategy 

This  case  study  is  about  an  aging  woman  experiencing  Down’s  Syndrome  (DS)  and dementia. People with Down’s Syndrome are living longer than ever before. Since the 1980s their life expectancy has doubled and many now live into their 60s, most likely because of advances in medical treatment and improved living conditions. 

Patients with DS and dementia typically experience several residential relocations during their lifetime and these may be traumatic events for these individuals. This study explores the complex needs of aging clients with intellectual disabilities. Target students for this teaching strategy have completed medical-surgical or geriatric nursing. 

Learning Objectives
The student will: 

  • Perform physical, functional, and social assessment on the older adult with Down’s Syndrome and dementia and recognize pertinent assessment findings
  • Utilize “Try This: Monitoring Functional Status in Hospitalized Older Adults.” (see below in Materials)
  • Utilize “Try This: Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk Using the Braden Scale with Hospitalized Older Adults: The Evidence Supports It.” (see below in Materials)
  • Use therapeutic communication to address the unique needs of the client with Down’s and dementia.
  • Identify family needs and expectations related to disease progression and the support needed for caregivers now and in the future.
  • Address issues of advanced directives and durable power of attorney with patient and family. 

ACES Essential Knowledge Domains

  • Individualized Aging
  • Vulnerability During Life Transitions
  • Complexity of Care

 ACES Essential Nursing Actions

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions

 NLN Competencies for Nursing Education

  • Nursing Judgment
  • Human Flourishing
  • Spirit of Inquiry

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