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Bringing Dementia Patients to Life


Health & Wellness  (tags: humans, health, research, study, treatment, dementia, illness, news, society )

Carrie
- 104 days ago - theatlantic.com
"We should dwell less on what dementia patients are incapable of and focus more on celebrating what they are capable of doing."



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Comments

Pat P. (27)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 7:19 pm
Excellent article. I knew a dementia patient who couldn't tell you her name but who could still play beautiful classical pieces on the piano by heart.
 

Elizabeth M. (64)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 7:54 pm
Loved this article, as I have had several members of my family, my Dad, his brother, sister and mother all had dementia. They all lived into their 90 yrs. My father who could never remember my name, at first loved to tell stories of when he was very young, and later was very happy when dogs were brought in for visits. He always said he was an atheist, so was not familiar to church music, but he would read the newspaper from front to back, and back again and loved the sports pages. He played a lot of sports n younger years with his brother, and both had chances to be in the NHL, but Dad had a bad back,still he played cricket and lacross, he also was very well known at the race track (always played off his winnings and never used his own money), so loved looking at the race sheets.Later he started going through what I call the angry stage, and a sign was put on his door - Beware of Caddy Bill. After that stage he went through a confused state, he would get on the elevator, push the button, and would forget he had to exit through the other door, which led to him riding up and down in the elevator. During all this time in the Lodge, one thing he never forgot was how to get to the entrance to go outside, where he would sit and watch people coming and going.,His sister went right into the angry stage and was very hard to handle, and his brother still kept his sense of humor. His mother did not last too long after being diagnosed, but she was almost 95. With so many members of the family being diagnosed, it was though that is what was happening to my mother, but she had a tumor around her brain - on her side, her mother lived to be 100 yrs and 22 days, her sister 97 and one other sister had alzheimers and lasted many years, the males in her family all had cancer. My brother always jokes when he gets to that stage he will go to his vehicle in the garage and read up on all the things he has been interested in but never had time to do. Thanks Carrie for this article.
 

Lona Goudswaard (61)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 10:30 pm
From a therapeutic point of view this focussing on what a patient can do makes a lot of sense. As with so many things the adage "use it or lose it" is quite applicable here and letting the patient use those faculties that are left to him or her, and training these in the process, can slow down dementia. This rings true especially in therapeutic, non-emotional settings.

For caretakers who have known the patient in earlier, disease-free years and who may have personal connections or relationships stemming from that period, not focussing on what has been lost may be very hard to do. When your parent doesn't recognize you any longer, the things that he or she still can do may be utterly meaningless. When the deterioration is rapid, it is also hard to focus on what remains and not on what is lost from day to day. The loss often feels like the loss of the person, the personality and for some even the loss of the soul. Emotions can be overwhelming when a loved one's mind slips away while the body remains unaltered. Joining in a ritual that may or may not have meaning for the patient may be too much to bear.
 

Fi T. (16)
Monday January 6, 2014, 3:57 am
Everyone deserves the right of survival and respect
 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday January 6, 2014, 4:29 am
noted
 

Chrissie H. (18)
Monday January 6, 2014, 6:20 am
An interesting article thank you for sharing. Noted.
 

Birgit W. (135)
Monday January 6, 2014, 8:00 am
Thanks for sharing Carrie.
 

Rhonda B. (99)
Monday January 6, 2014, 9:19 am
Thank You!
 

Azaima A. (217)
Monday January 6, 2014, 10:44 am
Read Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa MD
 

Mandi T. (419)
Monday January 6, 2014, 12:29 pm
Great article Carrie.
 

Farah Hage Ali (146)
Monday January 6, 2014, 12:48 pm
noted, thank you for sharing
 

Winn Adams (178)
Monday January 6, 2014, 1:58 pm
Thanks for sharing this article.
 

Shirley H. (49)
Monday January 6, 2014, 2:37 pm
That was an excellent article. TY for the post.
 

Kamia T. (61)
Monday January 6, 2014, 4:19 pm
My mother died with dementia, and it felt strange to lose the creative person who has always been a part of my life because she was basically warehoused, rather than encouraged to do much. I wish we had found a place that cared a much as the caregivers in this article.
 

. (0)
Monday January 6, 2014, 5:07 pm
Wonderful article, Carrie. Thanks for sharing.
 

Laurie H. (673)
Monday January 6, 2014, 9:39 pm
So Many Thanks for this share Carrie!! This is a great share!!! The human mind/brain is very complex and many strides have taken place, but many more answers, have yet to be discovered about dementia and Alzheimers Disease, which my dad sadly struggled through for 8 years with. Thank you so much for this posting, again!!~
 

june t. (62)
Monday January 6, 2014, 10:49 pm
It saddens me how little we do for our seniors. Most seniors care homes just warehouse them. Things like music therapy programs can help them so much. Absolutely agree - lets focus on what they can do, and not focus so exclusively on what they can no longer do.
 

Lindsay Kemp (1)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 4:07 am
Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 6:35 am
great viewpoint, thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 4:21 pm
Most have more capacity than others believe or expect--and many surprise even themselves/
 

Anne F. (17)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 6:42 pm
wonderful work is being done with Montessori materials and methods and seniors
 

Tom Sullivan (98)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 7:54 pm
Noted, very good.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Tuesday January 7, 2014, 11:58 pm
Good article. . Like their way of using a Positive outlook. Thanks Carrie
 

beatrice d. (121)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:45 am
great article and (touching) comments.
 

Dotti Lydon (118)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:35 pm
Working as a nurse, I have taken care of many patients with Dementia and Alzheimers. And in my own family, Mother and older sister. I try to be patient with my sis. She has no short term memory and very little long term memory. She is fortunate to be living in a lovely Assisted Living facility along with her husband who also has dementia.
 

Connie O. (31)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 7:06 pm
I have had family members and friends with Alzheimers and Dementia. Caregivers need to remember to also take care of themselves. Thanks for the article.
 

Wisteria K. (17)
Friday January 10, 2014, 7:30 am
Important info here.
It can also be good tips for all is not demented to have some deeply felt rituals in our life.
 

Evanola Davis (54)
Friday January 10, 2014, 4:10 pm
This is a great article....my mother had Alzheimer's and passed away at the age of 92. She went to church every Sunday until the last week of her life. My family let her do anything that she was still capable of doing. Many people thought we should have put her in a nursing home but I am so glad we didn't. She spent the rest of her life with her family and especially her adorable great granddaughter. She had her routines that were adhered to every day. Rituals and routines are essential for everyone, not just for Alzheimer's patients.
 

HELEN V. (48)
Friday January 10, 2014, 10:40 pm
great article dear and comments much appreciated.
 
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