Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.
SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com
Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!
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THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.
Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.
Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.
With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.
Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.
Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Today I was over saddened.
OVERJOY: Found out today that in just three short weeks (usually takes 6 months) I was able to get Medicaid approved for Gregory. This means that he will be taken care of for the rest of his life without any fears or doubts over financial matters.
SAD: The difficult part of the day was spent at the Care Conference discussing Gregory's care at Lieberman. To put it succinctly:
1) Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy will end on March 20. The wonderful practitioners at Lieberman have done as much as they can for Gregory. He is strong and able but his cognition no longer is connected to his abilities and therefore he has not been able to progress with their help.
2) He will probably be in his wheel chair and never walk again. Again, he has the strength but his mental associations and his physical abilities no longer work with each other and he cannot control the muscles as needed to let him be mobil. Because he is at times stubborn, and strong, and tall ... he is at risk for hurting himself and those trying to help him ... if he looses his balance, or decides to grab on to something while being assisted with walking and cannot be pried loose, or if he just decides to sit down or fight his helper.
3) He continues to have difficulties feeding himself. He cannot control the gross and fine motor skills necessary to use a fork or even to pick up food with his fingers and get it into his mouth.
4) He has what are called "Intentional Tremors." His brain sends a signal to his hand to pick up something and the signal gets lost or jumbled somewhere before the end point. So instead of picking up his glass of juice his hand just tremors or twitches or jumps. He can eat when his hand is guided.
5) He gets stubborn and I call him "My Petulant Seven Year Old." When he grabs onto something he is so strong and you cannot pry the item loose from his hand. He closes his eyes or mouth and won't cooperate. He gets very strongly intent on telling you something almost to the point of being angry: "No, no, now wait. It's just that. Wait this is important. You need to know this." But he is unable to finish the thoughts and the best bet is to agree, "I understand. I know. You are right." And he calms down believing you do.
6) Because his is not mobil, he will not be able to use the bathroom and will have to depend on using what I call his "Paper Pants" and on being changed. He will be lifted for changing with the Hoyer Lift which is a safe way of moving him from the wheel chair to his bed but it continues to frighten him so he fights it and needs to have at least four people helping. I am promised that every two hours he will be "Checked and Changed" and that there will be a computer touch screen program (instead of clipboards) that the assistants will use to chart the "C&C."
7. Because he must depend on messing his pants and being changed, blue jeans are no longer an option because they are just to hard for the RCA's to use (Resident Care Assistant.) So I purchased some nice looking black sweats. At least he can continue to wear his flannel shirts so the "look" will be almost the same.
8) Because of the lack of mobility, I probably will not be able to take him out to dinner, or to the Botanic Garden or Zoo, etc. We can go for a walk in his chair around the building (there is a library and an outside safe garden.) Sad that his world will be so limited but he doesn't seem to notice or care (at least on the surface.)
9) He seems to be more non-communicative, more distant at times. But he is calm and contented.
10) He is happy when people come to visit and usually expresses himself by saying something like, "Oh how wonderful." Then he cries. The tears seem to me to be a combination of joy mingled with grief. When asked if he is OK, through the tears he will tell you, "Wonderful." He then calms down and enjoys spending time with his visitor. Does he know you? Yes. Can he tell your name? Probably not. Can he tell you how he knows you? Probably not. But you can see the love and joy come over him as he hugs you and the tears tell you he is happy you are visiting and that you are loved!