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Dementia!


paula
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I was an Home carer before I became ill myself and was thinking about my work when I decided to pay a visit on some of the clients that I used to visit in my job.

I phoned the clients family to arrange a visit. Upon visiting some of my old friends, with their family there, I noticed how they had deteriorated with the Dementia that they were suffering from. It hurt me to see how this was affecting their daily living.

I have worked with the aged for over 8yrs and understand too well how dementia affects their brain cells, destroying them, leaving them only remembering their past and not their present.

I decided that I would try and help them and their family as much as I could. first thing that I noticed upon entering their houses were, the questions, "what day is it?" & "what time is it?" So... with the consent of the family's, I decided to make them a calendar with the day's of the week, date, the months of the year, the year it was and also, what the weather was like, cloudy, sunny, raining, windy etc.

I stuck the appropriate day, date, month, year, and also what the weather was like on a big blackboard with blue-tack. The family thought it a good idea and would explain to their carers to do this calendar with them each morning on attending. Also, it would give the client an idea of what day it was. They would probably still ask every once in a while but... at least it gave them something to do with the carer.

It can be so frustrating for the aged at times, as they know something is wrong but... don't know what?

I hope this idea can help others with parents/grandparents who suffer with this dreadful disease.

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Guest GingerSnap

Paula: That is a great idea. Where we live, the fastest growing age group is over 80 years with some residents over 100. I have heard of making the albums with photos as reminders but your idea is great and I'll pass it along when I can.

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Hey Paula,

your calendar idea is right on track.

we recently put my dad in day care. he is in the "memory care" or dementia unit from 8AM to 6PM three days a week.

In looking for a place for him I noticed that all of these "memory care" units had a daily calendar that was very large and prominently posted for the residents/clients to see.

Another idea that they use in these places is something some of them call "rememberance boxes". (sorry if I mis-spelled it!) The boxes are like over-sized shoe boxes or picture storage boxes - 4" high x 6" wide x 12" long or 5" high x 7" wide x 12" long. In each box is some kind of activity that the family or caregiver can do with the elderly person. The "activity" in the box might for example be pictures of babies, baby socks, a little shirt or dress etc. This box could be used to help the elder recall when their children or grandchildren were very small. Or another box might have some kind of sports memoribilia in it. Like pictures of football games or baseball games or even a small child's glove and a plastic ball (something that would be harmless if thrown!). Again, the family or the caregiver looks at the things with the elder person and tries to get them remembering their favorite sports, teams, players, etc.

I think the fact that you're making an effort to reconnect with some of your former charges is wonderful!!! :)I know from personal experience that many times when a caregiver leaves a client they never return. I'm sure that for people with dementia they don't completely understand why the caregiver left, and sometimes that wondering can be somewhat upsetting.

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