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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure

Washing and dressing

Sequencing tasks can be particularly difficult for patients with prion disease. They may lack awareness that a problem exists. They may do well in spontaneous questioning of their ability to wash and dress but evidence would suggest that the majority of patients would need some degree of assistance as their problems progress. We can advise local teams on the likely progression of the disease and offer regular nurse led clinical assessments to assist with assessment of needs. The medical team at the prion clinic will also see the patients regularly and immediately should the local team require further support.

People with prion disease often have an impaired ability to perform or complete activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing, bathing, toileting. The nurse may encounter the patient with a self-care deficit in the hospital or in the community. These deficits are the result of progressive deterioration that erodes the individual’s ability or willingness to perform the activities required for self care.  Careful examination of the patient’s deficit is required in order to be certain that the patient is not failing at self-care because of a lack in material resources or a problem with arranging the environment to suit the patient’s physical limitations. The nurse coordinates services to maximize the independence of the patient and to ensure that the environment that the patient lives in is safe and supportive of his or her special needs.

MRC Prion News