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, May 4, 2014

Haunting (Part 1 of 2)

First let me explain how residents of Lieberman's Fifth Floor spend their waking time.

After meals, and during the day, all residents are moved from wing to wing for the various on unit activities like exercise, music, movies, etc. Moving is in itself an activity which allows for a brief "ride" providing a different environment in which to spend the next few hours.

The moving is called "Transport." This example will describe moving to Wing A for a movie after lunch. All residents are in dining room at various stages of having finished their noon meal.

Some residents are able to walk, walker, or wheel chair kick themselves around the place safely. These residents are able to do so freely. They are encouraged to join the group at some activities, required to participate in others, but for the most part can be on their own if they choose.

Those who are a "fall risk" or are not mobil get their wheel chair pushed to the next destination. One RCA (Resident Care Aide) starts the transport by pushing a resident to Wing A and then stays there as "Guard." The other RCAs push the residents to Wing A and return to the dining room to get another resident.

Meanwhile yet another RCA has remained in the dining room until the last resident is finished eating and either is out on their own or pushed to Wing A. Should add here that often the nurses, social worker, activities director, and volunteers help as needed with the process of "Transport."

Once everyone is in Wing A watching the movie (or sleeping or staring or mumbling or whatever) another RCA becomes "Guard" for the next 30 minutes while the others are freed up either to change those residents who need it, attend to other needs like helping a resident shower, or they are able to get lunch for themselves and take care of other duties around the unit.

Sometimes, like during music or Oneg Shabbas, all of the RCAs join in and the activity is quite fun, active and reflects the "Community" that the unit is to residents, visitors, and workers as well.

Let me add one variation, if a resident has a private care helper or a visitor, that person can transport and/or decide where to go or what to do. Sometimes when I am there, instead of going to "music," Gregory and I will go to his room to visit or watch his TV. Often visitors take the resident out into the garden or to an all building activity like a concert.

With this picture of "Transport" in your mind, and with your wondering why the title of this post is "Haunting," I will keep you hanging until the next post.

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