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, April 27, 2014

Care Conference

Gregory has been at Lieberman a little over three months and I have attended six Care Conferences to discuss his progress and needs. That is a meeting twice a month! Every time I take a long list of questions, concerns, and quandaries. 
Every time I come away from the meetings feeling listened to and content with the results. The meetings are always attended by the Head Nurse, the Social Worker, and depending on what we need to discuss, others. 
This time we were joined by the Nutritionist and the Restorative Nurse Supervisor.
• • •
Italics is what was discussed at meeting.

• • •

CHECK and CHANGE: How going? Records/regularity? (Being kept by RCAs) Hover over chair or in bed? (Depends on need)  When changed how cleaned? (Warm cloth and special soap) Is special soap used so rinsing doesn't affect his skin? (Yes) Is “tushie cream” used every time? (Yes)
The Restorative Nurse reported that Check and Change is going well.
Use of Urinal Training has not been successful as physically it is difficult to accomplish in time before he "messes" and Gregory is not able to help.
I reported that I am NOT confident that the Check and Change every two hours is going as well as I would like. When Gregory is discovered to be wet there usually is not enough time and/or staff available to get him changed so he ends up "sitting in it" for 3 or 4 hours until they can get to him. Often he sits in his urine and/or feces during meals. Also, from my observations, human nature causes the “check” part to not take place as often as necessary. 

I know that Resident Care Assistants (RCAs) are doing their best, that there are times when changing him is not possible because it takes four people to do so; the nature of scheduling, moving patients, floor needs, etc are getting in the way of Gregory’s care.

I proposed that staff should check for "messes" every hour NOT every two hours. That would not take more time or cause Gregory to "mess" more often but rather might bring his being changed closer to a manageable time through out the day. 

It was agreed that this will be done.

I proposed a way to resume Urinal Training. I purchased specialty pants which zip down both sides to the knee? Sometimes G does give signals that he needs to go and if one can get into his "area" quickly perhaps we can "save the day." 

I also purchased a woman's urinal box which seems to be angled more appropriately thus allowing Gregory to urinate while sitting. Also, we can try  a "penis friendly" urinal which I created using a collapsible, flexible silicone funnel attached to a water bottle. 

Staff will be trained to use the new idea as will Manny, Gregory's private care help.

A change in Gregory’s permanent RCA's for Days and Afternoons was made. Previously I had insisted that the RCA be in Gregory's wing and therefore closer to his needs. "Floating" RCA's have fewer people to take care of. Now that Gregory is not in as much need as he was the first month at Lieberman, proximity of RCA is not as important.

I think the new people will be better suited to meet Gregory's needs.

What kind of Active Assisted Movement will be given now that Gregory is no longer in OT/PT? By whom? When? 
Stand now and then? Sit now and then? Walk now and then?

Active Assisted Movement takes place every morning. Each resident works with a RCA for 15 minutes doing exercises like tossing a ball or leg and arm movement. Also, Manny will be trained so he can provide more activity and exercise throughout the day besides the regularly scheduled times in the morning.

We went back and forth on "standing, sitting, walking" regarding safety for Gregory as well as the staff. I fought for not "giving up" on him yet even though PT/OT thinks he must always be in the wheel chair and moved with the Hoyer lift. We compromised in that there will be a new screening and review by PT/OT. Also a new kind of wheel chair without foot pedals will be tried which might allow Gregory to "walk" himself around the unit.

CONCERN: There are many things that the Private Care Aid I have hired provides for Gregory between 11:30 and 5:30 and which relieves the RCAs of some responsibilities and allows them more time to be with their other duties. Some examples: Need to be shaved, to be transported from place to place, to be fed, to "entertain," calm, or otherwise occupy Gregory's time, Need to be supervised.

I need to feel that some of that time is being given back to helping Gregory. Right now his most important need is with bath rooming and being kept clean since he mostly has to "mess his pants." My concerns were heard and recognized as valid. With the above changes I feel this will be accomplished.

Current doctor reports? podiatrist? eye doctor? 
Any changes are reported, if no change assume everything is OK.
Adhesive on neck has really helped keep Gregory's neck strong.
No need for that now but muscle power in neck will be under observation.
Has he been showered in shower chair? Belly Button is full!
Teeth brushed. When? How often? By whom? Doesn't seem to be happening.
While shower chair discussed previously, not yet acted on. Will begin now. Teeth should be brushed twice a day. With new RCAs should happen now. I made myself available to "help calm" by being available for first few shower times.
More sir! Lunch and dinner, please. Sometimes a "regular" portion is enough for residents but not enough for Gregory. At times Manny or I ask for seconds if there are any left. Also, can he have more fresh fruit and vegetables. When does he get evening snack?
Evening snack consists of apple sauce or ice cream. 

Even before my mention, it was noticed that Gregory has lost some weight and has been put on mealtime "double portion." If Gregory is ever still hungry, Manny should ask for seconds. If none at station on floor, worker will go down to the main kitchen. There is ALWAYS more food available!

We talked about adult life time usual 155lb weight, his recent developing a "little belly" 180lb weight, and his current 167lb weight. Will keep an eye on what his NEW optimum weight might be. 

Will add more fresh fruit and veggies. 
In touch with Psychiatrist who has been following Gregory? Psychiatrist who chatted with Hannah about what to expect in general with Young Onset Alzheimer's patients.
• • •

It continues to amaze me how wonderful the care and concern for Gregory is. Often the staff is "ahead" of me when a concern develops. They are open and willing to try my suggestions but also know when they need to "educate" me on the realities of Gregory's situation. I cannot say enough about how wonderful each individual person is.

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