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I don't speak any english

Challenging case non-english speaking patient with dementia



It's difficult to take a history from a cognitive challenged patient. But what if the patient also has dementia and is not willing to listen to your advice ! Here I am going to talk about one such patient who posed a significantly challenging situation due to his cognitive impairment and language barrier


Top Tips

  1. Don't give up or feel frustrated

  2. Call a family member and allow them to be with patient during your assessment

  3. Call an interpreter in person, if no luck with a family member

  4. Offer treats, food, sandwiches, water

  5. If planning CT scan and X-rays in dementia patient consider mild sedation

  6. Even if you don't find anything wrong, admit patient for any concerns that you or family may have but just cannot point what? Talk to the admitting consultant directly

  7. Make sure these patients are whisked quickly to wards. Emergency Department is a stressful environment

  8. Rationalise medications to what is absolutely necessary


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