BACKGROUND: Nursing care for people with dementia diseases affecting the frontal lobes places special demands on staff, but there is little information available about how best to tailor nursing care. The aim of this study was to describe nurses' experience of difficulties and possibilities in caring for people with dementia diseases with frontal-lobe dysfunction.METHOD: The study was carried out as a descriptive qualitative study. Data collected during interviews with nursing staff (n = 10) were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.RESULTS: The difficulties experienced were related to the patients' lack of inhibition and judgment, anxiety, agitation, reduced ability to deal with physical needs, egocentricity, imbalance between rest and activity and depressed mood. The possibilities were seen in relation to the nursing staff's professional encounters, characterized as being clear and consistent, a step ahead, flexible, calm and creating a positive atmosphere, close and trusting and being and doing things together. Continuous feedback and support were prerequisites for the engagement of the staff.CONCLUSION: Nursing care in this context involves ethical issues whereby the residents' integrity must be balanced against a safe and secure environment. Nursing care is a sensitive but also demanding task, where nurses' actions can reduce the negative effects of the disease. It is therefore important to support staff in nursing care so they are able to manage their work and reduce the risk of emotional exhaustion.
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