FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Gregory continues to do well after a hectic first month arriving at Lieberman. His strength continues to return, he is more and more alert, he is happy and periodically cries for joy.
Communicative - no. Able to walk on his own - no. Able to feed himself - somewhat as prompted and when able to eat finger food.
Since he is still in a wheel chair, and by the time he notices he has to go to the bathroom, it is too late so we have "accidents." But the staff cleans him up quickly. He gets upset at having to "pee or shit himself" but by the time it is done, it isn't a remembered issue.
He has had many visitors and several repeat visitors. He is always happy to see our friends and family, may not remember your name but certainly KNOWS YOU and feels his love for you.
When reminded (which I try to avoid) of his past he gets a little upset: piano. painting, swimming. etc. He still is very much (fortunately) in the moment, doesn't ask why he is at Lieberman and doesn't ask about going home. He doesn't ask about the past or inquire into the future.
I have hired a helper to be with Gregory from 11:30-5:30, five days a week. Our Northwestern companion spends time with him the other two days a week.
I encourage you to visit Gregory if you are so inclined. I will go on the first visit with you (just to fill you in on the details and to help you acclimate) and then you are welcome to go back whenever you want (or we can go together again if you prefer.)
I would ask you to avoid visiting between 11:30 and 12:30 and 4:30 and 5:30 which are meal times. It gets a little overwhelming to have too many people around at that time. If you arrive and he is an an activity you can join the activity or have the helper take you and Gregory to his room for a visit. The helper will give you and Gregory your privacy.
There is candy and cookies in his "kitchen corner." There are beverages in the refrigerator. Help yourself. If you want to offer something to Gregory, first get the helper's help.
If Gregory tries to get out of his wheel chair, encourage him not to. If at any time you are uncomfortable with what is going on, ask for help from his private helper or any of the helpers around.
If you do have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call and ask.