National Patient Safety Goals -- the Joint Commission
National Patient Safety Goals
NR224 Fundamentals -- Skills
The brochure from The Joint Commission entitled What You Should Know About Memory Problems and Dementia was published online on November 13, 2013. Eight professional associations collaborated with The Joint Commission to produce this brochure that is intended to be a reference for people who suspect that they may have a memory problem and are concerned that they may develop dementia. The target audience of the brochure is individuals who are experiencing symptoms of memory loss: this is apparent because the language used throughout the brochure text includes use of the pronouns "you" and "your."
Summary of Brochure
Two primary topics are discussed in the brochure: Memory problems and dementia. In addition to the fundamental explanations of the topic, the brochure addresses the decision to see a doctor about perceived memory problems, whether to take an advocate friend to the doctor appointment, what questions should be asked of the doctor, how family members and friends can help, and where more information about memory problems and dementia can be found ("Speak Up -- Dementia," 2013). Though the explicit suggestions of questions to ask the doctor and ideas about what else can be learned about memory problems and dementia from trusted sources, communication between patients and healthcare providers is encouraged ("Speak Up -- Dementia," 2013).
In particular, the brochure explains in general terms how to distinguish between simple memory symptoms of aging, memory problems, and emerging dementia. The brochure is designed with an economy of text and sufficient white space to make it easy to read and appear uncluttered ("Speak Up -- Dementia," 2013). The expansive list of possible causes of memory problems seems like it could be a comfort to patients ("Speak Up -- Dementia," 2013). Another positive attribute of the brochure content is the list of possible activities and tasks when connecting with a doctor can contribute to more comfort moving forward, which means that a patient may see a doctor sooner than later ("Speak Up -- Dementia," 2013).
One topic that might strengthen the brochure is the inclusion of information about some of the current medications that possibly ameliorate the advance of symptoms. Discussion about the differences between early onset dementia and late onset dementia is also not included in the brochure. Considering these two topics, however, it is possible that they may add unnecessary complexity to the brochure, the consideration about obtaining a consultation with a physician, and contribute additional anxiety that could be avoided at such an early juncture in the patient's health care situation. The guide for physicians developed by the NIH Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center is a good adjunct to the Speak Up brochure on memory loss and dementia, and it could be a useful resource for sophisticated family members as well ("NIH Physician's Quick Guide," 2015). The NIH physician's quick guide is easily accessed as a result of the inclusion of the link in the Speak Up brochure.
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