Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mainz University Medical Center opens Dementia Service Center

29.10.2013
Nationwide unique institution for patients with cognitive impairment or dementia

In Germany, approximately 1.3 million people currently suffer from dementia. About 250,000 incident cases are estimated per year. Dementia is the leading cause of dependency and disability among older persons.

The disease impacts on patients and their caregivers and families medically, psychologically, and emotionally. Acute or chronic co-morbidities like infections or fractures after falls are frequent, challenging causes of hospitalization. To attend the special needs of these patients, their families as well as of the University Medicine care system, the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) offers a special and nationwide unique range of services. Under the motto "Supervision, Guidance, and Service," specially trained employees give afflicted patients individual on-site care such as personal escort services or alike.

The service catalog of the new Dementia Service Center also includes specific training of medical staff and advising for caregivers. The Dementia Service Center is currently a pilot project. A total of ten model wards from five different specialized clinics and treatment centers of Mainz University Medical Center are involved.

In addition to the existential significance of the fate of the development of dementia, the illness presents many challenges to the afflicted and their social environment. Outpatient and inpatient medical care systems as well as society as a whole are faced with special challenges in this respect. With the goal of improving nursing and health care quality through a wide range of services for patients with dementia, Mainz University Medical Center has established the Dementia Service Center as a pilot project supervised by the President of the Nursing Board. It provides patients who suffer from memory loss and disorientation with a personal escort service for examinations within the clinic and supports patients and their families in the organizational matters of their hospital stay. In addition, patients should receive the best possible support so that they are able to actively participate in their own healing process. Another key mission is to develop new approaches for the treatment, supervision, and support of cognitively impaired patients and to communicate them to all involved employees of Mainz University Medical Center, for example, through targeted training.

With the growing number of elderly patients, Mainz University Medical Center is experiencing a proportionate influx of patients who are afflicted with cognitive impairment all the way through to dementia. For people afflicted with dementia, a stay in a hospital can be an unsettling and frightening experience due to the foreign environment, unfamiliar people around, and unusual procedures and requirements, to which patients frequently react with restlessness, defensiveness, or other challenging behaviors. From the perspective of the caregivers, the Dementia Service Center and its work are advantageous, because knowledge of the specific situation of the patients has already proven to be helpful for all of those involved. When employees recognize early on and know how to professionally handle relevant cognitive impairment, they are much more capable of mastering complex work situations. "Hospital nursing care for patients with dementia is extremely demanding of all employees. The range of services of the Dementia Service Center is intended to be a support system. It is important to us that the patients and caregivers receive direct and immediate assistance," emphasized Evelyn Möhlenkamp, President of the Nursing Board at Mainz University Medical Center.

Professor Andreas Fellgiebel, Chief Physician and Director of Dementia Research and Dementia Medical Care at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Mainz University Medical Center, explained: "With our service center, we also seek to raise awareness for the problem of dementia in the hospital and to reduce the still existing stigma associated with dementia in medicine as well as in society."

According to conservative estimates, at least twelve percent of older patients in inpatient hospital care are affected by dementia. In accordance with referral diagnoses, however, the hospital stay is generally the result of other physical illnesses and not the dementia itself. "Frequently, problems and impairments resulting from dementia were already apparent before the patient's hospital stay, although the dementia was not formally diagnosed. In the case of previously diagnosed dementia, the dementia diagnosis often goes unreported during inpatient intake. Both cases clearly have something to do with the stigmatization of the disease, which still predominates. We are then confronted with the problem that the additional need for support of the patient is underestimated from the very start of inpatient treatment. This in turn leads to excessive demands on both the patient and the treatment team. Nurses and doctors reach their limits faster and time input and costs increase", added Fellgiebel.

The Dementia Service Center is a pilot project, in which ten wards from five different clinics and departments of Mainz University Medical Center are participating. This currently includes the Department of Ophthalmology, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, the Department of Urology, and the Department of Internal Medicine I of the Mainz University Medical Center. The procedure of the pilot project intends for all patients 70 years and older to be asked to participate in a short test procedure at one of the participating wards upon intake.

Eva Quack, Director of the Dementia Service Center, said: "First experiences show quite clearly that the supporting services of the center disburden both patients and caregivers at the model wards. For patients, the opportunity to have an additional reference person on their side during their hospital stay and therefore more attention is a positive aspect. Altogether, we recognize that with the support offered by the Dementia Service Center, we are closing a gap in the patient care process."

The Dementia Service Center will be initially operated for two years and is funded by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry for Social Affairs, Labor, Health, and Demographics with a total of EUR 53,000. The project will be scientifically evaluated through corresponding concomitant research. If the pilot project receives a positive evaluation, the services of the Dementia Service Center are to be expanded to the entire Mainz University Medical Center.

Dementia is a general term for a number of neurodegenerative illnesses. Normal symptoms of old age do not necessarily have to lead to dementia as an irreversible fate. Dementia is understood as a condition of ongoing and frequently also progressing mental deficiency that leads to a significant impairment of independent lifestyle in old age. The risk of dementia increases significantly with increasing life expectancy. Only two percent of seniors age 60 to 65 have dementia, whereas the chance of being afflicted with dementia increases to 20 percent after 80 years. The risk of dementia in the last year of life currently affects 30 percent of the population.

Press contact
Barbara Reinke
Press and Public Relations
Mainz University Medical Center
Langenbeckstr. 1
D 55131 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 17-7428
fax +49 6131 17-3496
e-mail: pr@unimedizin-mainz.de

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de/index.php?L=1

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>