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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kate, my friend in Australia who is a great advocate for people diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and who herself has that diagnosis, in a recent blog discusses care homes. In previous posts she talks about the unfairness of how so many people in care for Dementia are treated, especially without regard for their desires, rights, etc. And I agree with her very much. She posted the following to soften her "attack" on caregiver's and also describes the wonderful "Group Homes" she visited in Australia. Here are my comments to her post:

Kate, Your description of "Group Homes" sounds wonderful. I know that there is a movement afoot to move from a "Hospital/Medical Model" of care for Dementia Residents to a "Home/Family Model" and I truly embrace that move.

I also appreciated your "apology" to support facilities and caregivers who certainly are trying their best to provide loving, empathetic care for their spouses and family members, although not always under the best of circumstances.

Sometimes, one must settle for the lesser evils! However, I believe that even in a "Hospital Model" facility, the care can be much more "Home Model" like. Also, the details of what might go on at any facility is often dictated by the stage of care that the residents might be at but that doesn't mean they should have to "settle for less" than humane, best practices! 

I know that at Gregory's facility, many if not most of the residents on his floor are not able to be as active and "family" oriented as we would hope, but the care and the ambience of the place certainly can be better. The health care, medical services are amazingly excellent, especially with residents who can not share their needs, discomforts, pains, and illness symptoms. The social/emotional environment, however can bemuch better.

My continuing quest is to share my observations, having been with Gregory almost every day, with the administration, managers, doctors, and department heads, etc. I am excited and pleased that they are eager to hear my feedback and we have scheduled a lunch meeting (I'll bring the food) in which I can share my observations and suggestions with everyone at one time and then open it to Q and A.

Instead of giving compliments, observations, blames, suggestions for improvement, etc ... I plan on creating a "fantasy story" of what the ideal Memory Care Unit could look like based on the Lieberman Center's physical plant parameters and based on their target population of residents. Wish me luck. I will be sharing the story on my BLOG in the not too distant future.

Thank you Kate, for helping me to continue to educate myself in the areas of: 1) care-giving, 2) appropriate language use when discussing Dementia/ Alzheimer's, 3) seeking feedback from people diagnosed with Dementia on how they would like to cared for, 4) appropriate (if any) use of psychotropic drugs, 5) living beyond the diagnosis and living well with the diagnosis of Dementia/ Alzheimer's, 6) and I am sure etc, etc etc!

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