Hospitalization of a patient with dementia is a potentially stressful experience often associated with negative outcomes for both the patient and family. The majority of dementia care is provided in the home by family caregivers who have intimate knowledge about the patient’s preferences, schedule, communication and comprehension abilities. The "Partner With Me" (PWM) project was developed to educate and connect healthcare providers with family caregivers of our patients with memory impairment. Hopefully, a better understanding of the patient's routine and adherence to these routines in the hospital will decrease the incidence of delirium and changes in behavior.
This project included the development of a DVD and education packet for family caregivers of cognitively impaired patients as well as a questionnaire and patient specific care plan to be completed while hospitalized. The DVD is titled "Partnering With Family Caregivers" and emphasizes the need to communicate patient specific needs and routines to hospital staff at admission. The information and resources included in both the education packet and DVD provide family members with valuable resources and tips to improve their loved ones care during and after hospitalization.