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.
Friday, November 7, 2014
When Gregory settles into a new "phase" of dementia; I compensate, get creative, learn to provide, cope, and as well get lulled into the false sense of security that this is how it will remain forever.
You have read about his recent "burbling" as a way of "playing with sounds" on his lips and in his mouth and to delight his ears. You have also read about his "routines" which while are not communication do provide positive interaction.
When Gregory is upset and tries to tell you something or when he is calm and tries to explain something he has plenty of words and sounds to use but on the outside, to you or me, they make no sense.
Most of the time he would be calm, content and happy. Now and then he would get upset but that was the exception.
When he would be upset I went into my, "It's all OK. Everything is taken care of. You have nothing to worry about. I have arranged everything." He would eventually ask, "Really?" And I assure him, "Yes." He would calm down. "Oh, good," he would reply.
When he was not upset and trying to explain something I would simply say, "I understand." or "I know." And that would usually satisfy him.
While I enjoyed those interactions and he was happy and alert and calm during that period, my antenna went up anyway watching for where this phase would go.
Recently he seems sad, upset, and not calm. His burbling and routine playing has moved into perseveration with the moods, ups and downs, happys and sads, cycling on and on.
In his interactions, he will become assertive, intense, and demanding. He seems less calm, content, and happy at this time.
It seems as though he gets into a loop and he cannot get out of it by himself. When he does this, the loop goes from one mood to the next quickly with more of them negative than positive.
When Manny or I am with him, we can usually defuse his behavior. When Gregory is with the group watching TV or in an activity before or after Manny or my being there, it is more difficult to control.
Several times he was removed from the group by an aide who was eventually able to calm him down. Recently they had to give Gregory an Ativan (drug for anxiety,) which didn't work so they gave him an Haldol (an antipsychotic as well as other conditions.)
Gregory is a strong man, and a big man, and when he gets upset the staff's concern is for Gregory's own safety and the safety of those around him. Thus the medications. The Lieberman nurses only use medications as a last resort and are very careful with that. I trust them.
So meanwhile, my soul is heavy, hoping that Gregory settles down into an acceptable behavior pattern again, which has happened in the past. At the same time, my intellect is preparing and wondering what steps might need to be taken next.
The psychiatrist has been involved and I have had discussions with the head nurse so I am not on my own in making these decisions. But I am on my own in dealing with my emotions and as I began this post ... the sad side has the advantage right now.
I will keep you informed.