For many people today, healthcare is a confusing maze of consults, paperwork, and uncertainty that seems endless and without clear answers, feeling, or compassion. Once a loved one begins to have health problems, the situation becomes even more challenging, as life becomes filled with constant questions and concerns.... " What do these test results mean?" "What are these medications for?" "Who can I call for home care that will actually care or show up?" " Does my loved one
I will never forget when my mother fell, fractured her hip and was admitted to the hospital for an emergency total hip replacement. The entire situation was so traumatic and frightening for her and for our family! After she came out of surgery, thankfully without complications, she was very disoriented. At first we assumed that it was due to the anesthesia, but realized later that it was in fact delirium. Being a nurse, I knew immediately how to handle this situation and
Dining out is an important social activity for most individuals. For those with dementia, however, going out to eat can be challenging at times and as a result stressful for family members and friends accompanying them. The purpose of this blog is to provide care partners with essential information and supportive materials to make dining out positive and successful! Key points for Dining Out: • Be realistic and flexible when dining out! • When reserving a table choose a time
Every 66 seconds someone develops dementia and 70 percent of people with dementia live within the community rather than in a care community. As a result of this, individuals need to make every effort to initiate positive changes in our communities to better support those with cognitive impairments. Every person can make a difference if we work together. Dementia friendly communities are an easy way to ensure that everyone in the community is knowledgeable, informed, and the
Happy Friday! As usual, I am blogging about what I have experienced throughout my week! Lately I have had several new patients with undiagnosed Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). I am finding that LBD is sadly often misdiagnosed, missed, or mismanaged in the healthcare community. Many health care providers sadly do not even understand the disease process or proper care considerations. Education is key in this area and why I try to provide frequent community education programs for
I want to say thank you to all who attended the Challenging Dementia Program yesterday at the Herndon Senior Center. I was pleased that the event was well received by so many healthcare professionals and local community members! I look forward to continuing to provide enriching programs such as this as education and outreach is key! I am grateful for the support of my event community partners the Herndon Senior Center, Care with Love, and Great Falls Assisted Living as they
“I want to go home!” “Get me out of here!” “I need to leave NOW!” "Help me!" "Where is Mom?" "I want to see mom!" These are common phrases heard by family members, caregivers and friends of those with dementia. These repetitive phrases can cause stress and anxiety for caregivers as they simply do not know what to do. Repetitive behaviors and agitation are a sign of distress and need to be addressed. Behavior such as this if not addressed and acknowledged will often tim
An interesting read this weekend is the Washington Post article, Why are nursing homes drugging dementia patients without their consent? Improvements have been made in this area, but sadly they note that on the average, more than 179,000 residents in nursing facilities are administered antipsychotic drugs each week without an appropriate diagnosis. Many of these drugs were developed to treat schizophrenia, not dementia. Research indicates that there is no one drug therapy tha
Those with cognitive impairment can show subtle signs that are often missed by family members or simply dismissed. Many individuals are able to cover symptoms and appear conversationally normal for some time while living independently. However, overtime symptoms effect daily functioning, begin to surface and become apparent to others. Below are some of the signs of cognitive impairment which should prompt one to seek additional guidance and consider a physician evaluation.
I was working with the husband of one of clients in choosing a memory care facility for their loved one. Although a difficult decision, the time had come and we were together making the best choice for the client and family long term. She would benefit from a more structured, secured, environment with social opportunities and memory care programming. In addition, the family would be able to enjoy time with their loved one more rather than focusing on direct care and tasks.
For a variety of reasons many people are now choosing to keep loved one's at home with dementia. This can be successful if certain steps are taken to ensure proper care support, routine, structure, and safety. Routine and structure is key for those with dementia! I am often asked by families to advise on these aspects for many clients that are living at home. I generally outline a customized, structured daily schedule for caregivers to follow for my clients with memory i
“I want to go home!" "I want to leave this place!" "I need to leave now!" "I miss my family...” These are common phrases heard by family members, caregivers and friends of those with dementia. These repetitive phrases if not addressed and acknowledged will often times lead to and escalate into more difficult situations and anxiety for all involved. There is always a reason for what is being expressed. Understanding the non- verbal and verbal cues of the individual will hel