Friday, September 4, 2015

Living arrangements for the future of Dementia patients

Many times, couples and individuals postpone decisions that would be much better made when everyone was healthy and fully cognitive.  Now, I am not saying we should make these decisions when we are 25.  But, postponing them until the Dementia patient needs skilled care is not a plan either!

But, we are human and many of us just ignore the inevitable and hope things will work out.  Trust me, they won't!

Again, everyone does not have $250,000 to give to a Continuing Care Retirement Community for the entrance fee!  But, there are many great communities that offer Continuing Care without the Entrance fee!  The key to understanding the future is research.  Get on the Internet, go visit communities, listen to their options, and then, seek advice from family, friends who have been on the journey ahead of you, and professionals like Senior Attorneys, Doctors, and Family Counselors.  But do something!!  Before you are in the predicament of having to place your Dementia Patient in a facility you don't like!!

Another issue to consider is the fact that the Facility determines the level of care your Dementia Patient needs!!  You may think Assisted Living will work fine, but your patient may need Memory Support to Skilled Care.  Then there is the issue of anger outbursts and even violence.  These issues reduce the facilities that will accept your Dementia Patient.

There is one more issue I want to bring out.  I know how disrupting my daily routine and living arrangements effects my journey with Dementia.  Our move to Azalea Trace was difficult for me.  It confused me, caused me hallucinations, and a feeling of being lost and confused.  Now, my wife worked with me endlessly, showing me where everything was placed.  How the dishes were in the cabinets, where the coffee maker and coffee were.  How, everything worked.  She went over and over these things to make me comfortable.  And Azalea Trace did everything to make our move easy and orderly.  They even have a Sponsor assigned to help you get acclimated to the community.  Azalea Trace did an outstanding job!   But even with all of that, I was negatively impacted by the move.  I remember an emotion I had of all of my stuff being stolen when we moved!!  I kept asking, where is my stuff?!

If your Dementia Patient is confused, cannot function in the home he or she gads lived in for 10, 20, 30, years, how do you think they will do when you completely uproot them and move them to a facility they have never seen!    Trust me, it will accelerate their dementia symptoms and probably have a lasting, negative effect on their cognitive abilities.  Change is not the friend of a Dementia Patient!!

We did our homework, moved early, and chose a community equipped to meet both of our needs.  Did we have disagreements and major issues doing this?  You Bet!!!  But the end product was good for me and my wife.

So, just like the old railroad crossing signs said;  "Stop, Look, Listen"!  And then decide early in the journey with any type of Dementia in determining living arrangements for your Dementia Patient!!

2 comments:

  1. amen. this advice about changes goes agInst the modern grain of suggestions for your elderly people you love.
    ....one should take mom out to dinner at a good cafe to stimulate her....is this advice.

    no!!

    I live in a senior home with many dementia people. one day a daughter wheeled her mother out on the patio. bad mistake! she kept constantly telling daughter that she want to go back to her room!

    total confusion. EVERYTHING. brand new is confusing. want to worsen the condition terribly for the rest of her life, move her to another place!
    in a sense, no change what so ever, in any daily routine, is best! everything new is short term memory and that is gone. thus taking a Demi's mother out to a cafe for lunch is to like give to you a huge dose of LSD . she cannot process a thing, there!

    freestone

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  2. Hi!

    I'm glad you managed to come to an arrangement that you and your wife were both comfortable with - great advice for others in the same boat.

    I work for Active Minds, the activity products provider for people living with dementia, http://www.active-minds.co.uk/ . We'd be interested in working with you, if this would be something you're interested in?

    If so, please drop me an email at louise@visibilis.co.uk :)

    Thanks - look forward to hopefully hearing from you!

    Louise

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