Article Abstract

Complex decision making in patients with dementia in an internal medicine department

Authors: Ladislav Kabelka


With the increase of polymorbidity, extending life expectancy and improving treatment options for chronic diseases, the care for dementia is moving into other areas of medicine. The length and quality of life with advanced dementia is directly dependent on the quality of medical and nursing care, early detection and treatment of complications, nutritional support and palliative care plan. Significant is also the support for family carers. The key coordinators of care for patients with dementia are general practitioners (GPs), geriatricians, psychiatrists, and an increasingly important role play internists. Case reports of patients admitted to an internal medicine department. Description of clinical experiences with caring on patients with dementia. In the internal departments of regional hospitals, there is a room for adjustment of the care plan, for comprehensive assessment of the patient and for making crucial decisions regarding nutrition, treatment of chronic diseases, consideration of previously expressed wishes in the context of the patient condition, and potential prognostic indicators. This assessment must result in a comprehensive documentation and communication with patients, and in the case of advanced dementia with their family members. The general internal medicine is very often the first place where the patient has a chance to hear about indication for palliative care. Without the availability of a multidisciplinary assessment, good communication and documentation, it is unrealistic to expect that the hospital would provide comprehensive care for patients with dementia.