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Online J Issues Nurs. 2012 May 31;17(2):4.

Transitions in dementia care: theoretical support for nursing roles.

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There are several predictable transitions in the course of dementia, and care is often provided by family members in the earlier stages. Later stages often include the move to one or more care settings. Important transitions for those with dementia and their families and/or caregivers include the initial diagnosis of dementia; advanced planning for financial concerns and healthcare considerations; driving cessation; managing behavioral symptoms; changes in settings; and preparing for end-of-life. Evidence has emerged to inform the important roles nurses may have in each of the transitions. In this article, we explore the concept of transitional care and how it relates to nursing care of older adults with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. We begin by briefly describing a middle-range theory of transitions. Next, we describe the dementia trajectory and provide evidence for expanding nursing roles in transitions. Also included are recommendations for research in the area of roles and transitional care.

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