It’s no secret that patients who are cognitively impaired or who have Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s related dementias have a great deal of difficulty communicating with caregivers. They have difficulty in understanding what they are being told and may also be unable to effectively let caregivers know how they are feeling and what their needs are.
Hospitalizations can be very challenging for patients with dementia because of the change in environment as well as the change in daily activity schedule due to the medical interventions. These patients’ chronic difficulties with word finding, short-term memory and attention, that impact their ability to speak and to comprehend can become significantly greater as a function of increased stress and disorientation associated with their hospitalization. This makes it more difficult for them to effectively communicate with their nurses and other healthcare providers, rendering them more susceptible to preventable adverse events and delirium. Their inability to effectively communicate about their needs also contributes to their increased agitation and non-compliant behaviors, which in turn requires increased use of sedation and increased risk of delirium.
Voxello has received an additional grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH) to expand their noddle-chat platform (communication software that enables patients with significant communication barriers the ability to actively engage with a provider) so that it can also be used to support the communication needs of patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia and other patients who are cognitively impaired.