Bhaktapur Hospital is one of the oldest and largest hospitals in Nepal. It is also home to a fantastic nursing workforce, eager to learn and explore new ways to engage with, care for and support patients and carers who access this unique facility. This week, Joanna James, Nurse Consultant, Dementia & Delirium (Imperial Healthcare Trust, London), met with nursing staff to discuss the principles behind old age and dementia nursing care.

Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning; it’s caused by different diseases that damage the brain and stop it from working properly. People suffering from dementia are often seen by a psychiatric specialist team or a neurology specialist team.  The brain is the most complicated, yet least understood organ in the body; Psychiatrists tend to focus on, and treat, symptoms originating in the brain that lead to abnormal voluntary functions, i.e; human behaviours, whereas neurologists focus on, and treat, symptoms originating in the brain that produce abnormal involuntary functions.

As Nepal’s population ages, numbers of people suffering from dementia are likely to continue rising. This is why it is so important to have an informed nursing care workforce able to respond to the challenges associated to diseases that can cause dementia.