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I found it truly cathartic to clean out my mother's closets. There was so much in there to throw away, but also a lot to keep and a lot to donate. Wish I could take the same approach with our stuff. But when one person won't let you touch their stuff and won't do it themselves...
This account is positively terrifying! For the sick and for their loved ones.
I posted this previously and somewhat messed up the editing job here it is, again!
The cycle of life beautifully described...
The reality of dementia care...
There is a positive note in all the gloom of dementia news: the overwhelming swamping tidal wave of future cases as we age is believed to not be quite as enormous as previously predicted (despite the fact that media keeps trotting out the old numbers).
We tend to be more aware, to be fitter, we don't smoke as much and we're more heart-health aware. When this is factored in to the newer predictions, along with better medications for earlier care and treatment, doctors can already see a change in the population trends to this disease cluster. (Remember there are multiple causes of dementia, and not all dementias are Alzheimers)
Of course, the real slowing isn't expected for about 10-15 years... With luck, things will be more hopeful when it's our turn.
ETA: I can't easily find my references, sorry. Most of the data that surfaces is relatively old (2010, 2012, or earlier or published later with data from then. The WHO reports on global ageing that I just reread pointed out that the population percentage of people with dementias is relatively constant at around 7%, it's just that we have greater numbers of people living that long. And, of course, women show up more in the affected ranks because we live longer, tend to be more poorly educated (for the periods being studied), and often were not as physically fit or active in our younger days as our men who had physically demanding jobs and played rugged sports. These patterns, and better childhood health, have all been demonstrated to have a delaying impact on population studies of dementias.
Further edit: aha! Big grin: I found the BBC report on The Lancet article on dementia diagnosis rates!
I found the report interesting because it covered similar ground to a much earlier study, in order to compare the diagnosed population numbers.
This approach sounds like a great solution -- anyone familiar to the place in West Orange?
In a related theme:
The article may help to refine what to look for in making your choices. I've linked to Prof Joe's website in the Over the Hill Gang thread.
Beautiful essay on caregiving..
That made me cry, mtierney. I had not thought of Emma quite in those terms, but now I will always see those elements. And don't forget poor Miss Bates, who is also a serious caretaker for her own mother, with very few resources.
I will have to go back and watch "The Jane Austen Book Club" again. I tend to try to participate with the group in that movie, and I love Grigg's insights about Austen and her works. Now, I have a bit more to think about there.
Much truth in this article. Thanks for sharing. We're in this process now, and it's both stressful and emotionally draining. Even further complicated when there's a home office involved (which the article doesn't mention).
Also, ironically, "downsizing" doesn't always mean literally downsizing. Condo units are often larger than the houses that people move from, even though they may cost less.
More downsizing tips..
Has anyone done the research on the best medical home alert system? (Weather today makes the need more urgent! )
There are so many types, plans,etc
I just beginning my search and would appreciate hearing recommendations or things to avoid.
My spouse has Parkinson's and falling is a huge worry. Also ease of operation is must for him.
I'm hoping this is the right link! There are two companies that I prefer, both of which appear to have US branches. We use Tunstall in our family, and I recommend it personally, because I find the staff and the system's incredibly supportive for family dealing with very frail or forgetful individuals living indecently.
http://www.americas.tunstall.com/Home in our case, the original unit was set up for a month's trial by the hospital-in-the-home team, so a special fee kicked in and several years done the track that's what we still pay. FIL has a pendant panic button which incorporates a mini-mobile phone unit, there's a dialler unit that patches into the landline, and anywhere within his home or garden he can call for help, or hear them if they call him. He's meant to check in once a month, but I'm not sure if he remembers how to any more.
Tunstall also have timed, locked medical boxes, if you have someone who has problems remembering to take meds at the right time in the right dose. They'll work with the pharmacy to set it up.
The other company that my work agency recommends is called VitalCall. Very similar, but I found them a bit too stiff and jargon-y. I'll try to find a link.
thanks Joanne,I have the info on the device you mentioned. I am thinking about a system called Bay Alarm Medical" which received a top rating by a Consumer Advocate group. So many variations on the same services theme!
After our recent blizzard, I have questions about reliability. Unlike Hurricane Sandy's aftermath which cut power for 3 days for us, we only had brief outages this time.
Landline versus wireless. GPS necessary? Almost similar to buying a car! I don't want all the bells and whistles, but don't want to overlook the basic must-haves!
Use something that goes through a landline. They use usually have a wireless device that comes with it as part of the set, so you have mobility: it's either a wristband or a pendant, usually.
Also, they usually have a trial period, about a month, so you can be sure your senior remembers it in all situations and remembers the check-in date. If that model doesn't work, often they'll come around and see what might work best for your situation. (It might be two phones, one in kitchen, one in bedroom; it might be a special pocket alarm to alert neighbour's if there's a fall-from-vertical, etc).
Thanks for the landline choice -- that was one of a series of confusing options.
I really want to make a decision about a product of which I have no first hand knowledge! Difficult job. The device is for my husband and he relies on me to do the shopping!
The Bay Alarm offers the upgrade to Mobile GPS HELP BUTTON for a one time device fee of $80. The monthly fee is about $12 more than the service without it. Is this mobile GPS thingy well worth the costs in your experience?
I would think mobile GPS would be necessary only if you have someone with dementia or who is prone to confusion who may wander away/get lost.
Thanks, Mjh! No dementia worries, thanks be to God, just wobbly legs and fear of falling.
The issue with falls is that you can't predict where you're going to fall, or which bit of you will be injured. So it could be that you injure your head, jaw, or neck or become dazed or somehow unable to actually call for help, as well as in a situation where you recognise where you are. In these situations having a service linked in to your mobile phone, so that there's a GPS locator is VERY handy. Been known to save lives.
The down side is that you have to remember to keep the phone charged and in a pocket ALL the time.
We looked into the GPS thing for my mother when she began wandering but realized that in her facility we could not rely on her to recharge the device as needed or on the staff to help with that. The level of assistance was not set high enough there to be helpful. There was a very awkward gap between the level of care at assisted living and in a full-blown dementia unit. Caused us a couple months of extreme anxiety while we searched out a new facility and worried she might wander out into a snow bank in the meantime.
But for some who is still mentally okay, it might be a wise precaution for the reasons Joanne mentions.
thanks for the insights, but I am beginning to think a GPS would most likely wind up in my purse instead of his pocket!
I have always been the schlepper in the family!
I have also always been in command of all things requiring resetting, recharging, etc in our household. Tad too late to change what has mostly been an amicable arrangement over the years!
See, this is where microchipping would come in handy! (and I REALLY don't mean it!)
oh, I just remembered!!! Alzheimer's have a tag that goes in a jacket pocket or something like that, that can be used to track a loved one who wanders off. It allows freedom, but the person doesn't return, they can be traced.
There's also a similar system for tracing children through their schoolbag tags.
Maybe that's the kind of thing you need? He can be independent and use his phone to call, but if he he doesnt, and he doesn't come back, you can find him.
Just a plug for attending balance and strength/fitness classes when you can: do what you can to help the big muscles around joints help to share the workloads of those joints. You won't be sorry!
This article really hit home today! It describes what recently happened to me, including and expensive and unnecessary MRI.
If you know someone with Alzheimer's, this is a must read...
Does anyone know a reliable source to get info on rehabilation centers in Ocean County? I have to come up with a place for my husband asap. TPTB at the hospital feel he must leave -- not me! There must be an isolation room available. He was coded Saturday with sepsis but he is recovering. I looked at several and contacted A Place for Mom, but the suggestions are two far away foe me to do daily visits. TIA
If he has sepsis, a long term acute care hospital may be a better choice. There are likely to be only one or two per county. Ask the social worker or case manager for more information. Good luck.
The Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) where Bernie was provided me with transportation to/from the hospital three times a week. Friends and family were nice enough to fill in for the rest. This might be an option for you if the facility you select has a similar program.
I wish I could be of help...truly regret being so far away
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Closets! As a depression age child, I delay donating clothes on the chance I may wear them again. Then, I think the stuff is not nice enough to donate, so I keep them!