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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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September 2023
Doron Merims MD, Tania Boguslavsky MD

Only two approaches are currently accepted for patients with advanced dementia who are unable to eat independently or refuse to eat. One is feeding by either nasogastric tube (NGT) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The other is to avoid artificially feeding the patient to spare the prolonged suffering associated with these procedures. The second approach is generally reserved for patients with terminal malignant diseases and is less common in patients with advanced dementia, especially when their life expectancy is unknown. PEG and NGT nutrition can lead to complications such as the likelihood of patients pulling out feeding tubes due to cognitive impairment. Various studies have shown that this feeding approach can be distressing to patients and does not extend life expectancy compared to spoon-feeding [1,2].

July 2013
D. Merims, H. Nahari, G. Ben-Ari, S. Jamal, C. Vigder and Y. Ben-Israel
 Background: Wandering is a common phenomenon among patients with dementia. While traditionally considered to be a behavioral problem, it also includes fundamental aspects of motor performance (e.g., gait and falls).

Objectives: To examine the difference in motor function and behavioral symptoms between patients with severe dementia who wander and those who do not.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study reviewing the medical records of 72 patients with severe dementia, all residents of a dementia special care unit. Motor and behavioral aspects were compared between "wanderers" and “non-wanderers.”

Results: No difference was found in motor performance including the occurrence of falls between the wanderers and non-wanderers. A significant difference was found in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances, which were more frequent among the wanderers. There was no preference to wandering at a certain period of the day among the patients with sleep disturbances who wander.

Conclusions: In a protected environment wandering is not a risk factor for falls. Sleep disturbances and wandering co-occur, but there is no circumstantial association between the two symptoms.

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