As you may know, we live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community. This is a wonderful community with some great people. We live in Independent Living with people that are anywhere from fully independent to needing full time help and probably need to be in Assisted Living or even Skilled Care. I have also written before that I feel more comfortable with other Dementia patients than I do with non- Dementia patients. Well, tonight I saw one of those commercials for the home care giver industry tell you the best place for your Dementia patient is at home! That made me decide to write this post.
I expend inordinate amounts of energy, everyday, to look and act normal. When looking normal and acting normal is the worst thing for me!! I play billiards on Sunday and Wednesday night and those two hours are exhausting! I enjoy the fellowship and playing billiards but two hours is all I can stand!!
Being with other Dementia patients is relaxing. We all have the same issues and we all understand how we deal with those issues. Our community is offering a course for Dementia caregivers to experience how Dementia patients see life. I am not sure if they use computers, virtual reality, or movies, but my Wife is signed up1 Even she does not know how I view life, even though I have spent much time trying to explain.
A safe, cocoon community, with caring, professional, caregivers, another Dementia patients that are housed in like cognitive ability groups is the best of cases for us. Communities that simply put an escape bracelet on the Dementia patient and leaves them to their own devices is the least acceptable. But, even at that, atlas you can find someone like you, to be around.
Another past memory is how my Father in Law was effected by outings away from his care facility. We did not know taking him out to dinner was bad of him, but we learned the hard way! Taking Kurt out of his cocoon upset and disoriented him severely. I now understand that and experience that more and more. But others, without Dementia, do not understand.
Staying home, with someone who comes in, without professional Dementia Care training, in not a good idea as I see it. Then, the Dementia patient is left at home at night with a family member who is overworked and feeling guilty, or what is worse, is the Dementia patient is left alone!!
My Sister had a life long friend and neighbor, with advanced Alzheimer's that the children left at home alone! My Sister would go over everyday and make sure Mary took her medicines and that she ate something. Not until Mary was so bad they were required by the Doctors to place her in facility, did they! Mary never acclimated and only got worse. Even with my Sister visiting Mary in the facility, feeding her, and looking after her, she died soon. Her end days were not comfortable, secure, or pleasant.
So, my view, as a Dementia patient is place me in a professional dementia care facility and leave me there. Visit me often, but do not disrupt my routine. This will help me enjoy my end days.