Personal Essay on Alzheimer's Disease

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Wordsmith
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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 1/21/2007 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello!

I wanted, initially to share an essay on how I and my family have been affected by Alzheimer's Disease.

www.slashedcanvas.co.uk/essays/essays5.htm

You can copy and paste it into your browser if needs be.

It's very much a personal view, but a valid one nonetheless.

Sam

Just made it a link so that it would be easier for people to get to it.

Post Edited By Moderator (normalsnofun) : 1/21/2007 6:23:26 PM (GMT-7)


Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/21/2007 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for sharing I have read some of it and can empathize with you quite often I looked after mom til she passed in March and now look after step dad
My bkgrd is in Geriatric Nursing
I hope you will stick around and add to the forum..........
You take care
God Bless
Lyn


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Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/22/2007 6:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I was a geriatric Nurse for many yrs
Had my own retirement home BUT I sleep well at night knowing I and my staff did all we could to make sure the residents needs were met like shaving that was done to all men and make up just a touch on woman
Baths every other day unless soiled badly ..............
DIGNITY RESPECT and to be tx with the utmost care was my homes priority
YES there are horrid places out there and some should be closed down
In Canada we have the Adult Protection Agency akin to Childrens services come in and we are monitored closely
Infractions are not taken lightly
I had workers for doing the odd jobs and we also took them out on field trips to parks for pic nics and to a show in Toronto ......a belive old Musical they loved it
I have been so depressed since the home was bought out from under me ( another story )
I had over 40 residents ( yes small amount) but to this day I can still tell you each ones fav food ,activity, birthday and all background info on them
There are exceptions hun to your essay
It is a fantastic essay though
I am going to bump up the "Check out Nursing homes thread " so you can have a look .
Thanks for sharing with us
Take care and God Bless
Lyn
I just lost mom this past march and now look after my dad it is hard but I will not place in a home they kept me ..............I will keep him til...........
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Wordsmith
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   Posted 1/22/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the comments and for making the link work properly (didn't know how to do that!).

Yes, there are bound to be exceptions but it seems that we as a family may have been somewhat unfortunate. The present home my father is in is considerably better than others we have encountered and we simply move ahead with it, although it's something of a balancing act sometimes!

Just today my mother and I were remembering what my grandfather went through. We recalled visiting one day and discovering he was wearing socks, trousers, a pullover and nothing else - no vest or underwear. There are many other things like this I could have mentioned in the essay but the point in that section was not to whine on and on in a long list of problems but draw attention to unacceptable shortcomings with many (too many) nursing homes.

We recalled too how a woman who verbally abused my grandmother was dismissed the following day.

I do have a lot of respect for people such as you who espouse the personal touch and consider the well being and comfort of the resident to be of utmost importance. It’s refreshing to read of your commendable approach. I wish there were more like you! Sadly however it’s inevitable that the elderly should become a mere factor within a job specification and a crucial part of a profit-making process.

In recent years here in the UK concerned bodies and the news media have issued reports and findings on the failings of nursing homes. Subjects covered include assault, malnutrition through neglect, excessive sedation, cruelty and worse.

In general terms, and that includes nursing homes, many old people are suffering abuse today: “The figure of at least half a million older people experiencing some form of abuse [in England] at any point in time appears to offer the only estimate that is currently available. We are disappointed that the Department has not commissioned research to establish a more precise figure” (House of Commons Health Committee: Elder Abuse, 2003-04).

I mentioned the excessive drugging of residents in my essay. A British political party has looked into this problem: “The report points to an increase in community prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs - up 6.2% between 1999 and 2002, an increase of 129,000 prescriptions. It also shows that two out of three GP practices have missed a government target to introduce six-month reviews of medication for all over 75s. These reviews were supposed to have been up and running since April.”

Yes there are bound to be good nursing homes but it’s a fact that too many are failing the elderly and their relatives. Most people I talk to seem to take the meek but cunning approach when dealing with nursing home senior staff, which is so sad in a way, and I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who had a glowing report of any nursing home.

But I’ve stressed in my essay the need for relatives to be cautious. It’s easy to jump to conclusions – it’s the nature of nursing homes to be unpleasant places at times and things may not be what they seem. There are many within the profession who are doing a fantastic job in very trying circumstances.

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss and present difficulties. You come across as a person of strong character and determination and I trust that those excellent qualities will see you through.

Regards

Sam

Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/22/2007 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Bumping the NURSING HOME THREAD it will shock you
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Hotflash1028
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   Posted 1/24/2007 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I need to respond to your essay on Alzheimers... This really hit home for me.  My Mother was diagnosed with A.D. 9 years ago.... Thanks to the care from my Sister and my Mom's strong will, she has been kept in good health and almost frozen within the stage of A.D. where she knows who we are, kept walking all over the nursing home constantly (they wanted to put a meter on her to see how far she really walked each day), was always the first to get up and start clapping and dancing if someone played music, always smiling, laughing and loving people, wanting to go out all the time... Of course she could not shower alone, dress herself, toilet herself, etc... however, the rest was enough.  Right up until Christmas of 2006 - the next day she fell at the nursing home and instantly my Mom was taken over by the A.D. demon....  As soon as they attempted to help her up off the floor she became combative, spitting, biting, kicking, hitting, pinching and cursing everyone out.  This wonderful woman whom everyone loved, all the aides and nurses always told us she was her favorite resident. darn!! How fast that changed.  Since December 31st she has been sent to a crisis center in an ambulance 4 times!!!   Restrained by wrists, legs and chest to keep from hurting someone or herself.  She cries all the time now. Cries out for Mama.  She has been dehydrated, lost 20 pounds from not eating. So what do they do?? The nursing home keeps her drugged as they cannot handle her.  My Sister and I arrive at 5 to 6 PM each evening with food to be sure she is eating, and to get her up walking around as she tries so hard to get up out of the geriatric chair just to walk .... They try to feed her, if she does or does not eat they then drug her up, by the time we get there, we have to struggle to get food and liquids down her, which is scary as I am afraid she may choke.  We cannot even attempt to get her up and walking.

Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/24/2007 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry about your mom
I am glad you found us here
I saw many ppl go the way your mom did after a trauma or something very shocking to system .You can demand to know what meds they have her on and come back here and check them out in Resources ........'
The drugs might help them but your mom I can not say til I know what she is on..
I am gald you and sis still go there everyday and she is loved so much
I do feel your pain and I am glad that essay did hit home did with me to some degre as well
Post and let us know how you are doing okay
God Bless
Lyn
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CharleyRice1931
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 1/24/2007 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wordsmith, having read your esssay it brought back awful memories of the year my wife spent in a NH. I was in daily conflict with the staff, and when I saw my wife had given up, I made the decision to sell our large home, for one in which I could manage the care of my wife alone. To this very day I refuse any help, in fact I refuse to accept the conventional treatment which is dished out to Alz patients in the NHS. There have been at least four times when the experts said she had little hope of survival. On the first of April it will be four years since I took her home. From just over five stone, she is now a healthy nearly 9 stone. Though she is incapable of movement or speech I take her out shopping and for walks.
I have long since given up on the system, but will fight to get any medical attention she may require. Thank you for highlighting that which is all too common in what is meant to be a civilised society. I came on this site in the hope of helping others with 'My story my Wife'. Best wishes to you. Padraig

Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/24/2007 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I know Padraig for along time
We are very close
He and his wife are my adopted grandparents
Wise man and very very honest and open
Please do read his story
Lyn
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Hotflash1028
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   Posted 1/24/2007 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your response... It is very sad how the people who are suffering with this disease are actucally neglected and pushed aside as if they do not matter. My Sister and I went again tonight, we tried to get there before they administered the adifan - however, they said she was too agitated to eat, so in order to feed her they had to medicate her. She did eat good for them, so that was a blessing. We got her out of the geriatric chair and she walked about 10 yards, even under the drugs she has that strong will to want to walk. We were even able to toilet her on the toilet, so she did not end up going in her diaper. The staff was shocked to see her walking. Her legs are starting to curl a little because they are not taking the time with her that she needs. We will be moving her from this nursing home, it may be a week or two, but until then I know I will try my best to get to her side every night and keep her on her feet for as long as I can. I am telling everyone I can about how this seems to be the "normal" with n.h.'s to drug them up and all - it makes me and everyone else sick to our stomachs.
Thank you again
Doreen

Howlyncat
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   Posted 1/25/2007 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe you are talking about ATIVAN??
IMO and many others in the feild of geriatrics
this med is a no no for AD ppl it changes their brain pattern so makes the aggitation and anger worse '
I had to take moms Doc to task about this
I hope Snowy answers this one as she knows what I am saying is the truth

****DID you check out "NURSING HOME" thread........
Please keep us posted go and talk to them about proper therapy for your mom as well she will not be able to move at all if this crap continues
Yes move her .......


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 Never compromise your self nor your dignity... 
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                                     LYN
                                  
                          
                                  

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 2/15/2007 3:08:00 AM (GMT-7)


Wordsmith
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   Posted 1/29/2007 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I checked out the thread on nursing homes and it ties in with my general research, sad to say.

My mother says time and time again that even the best of nursing home staff don't LOVE those they care for, so human nature being what it is... Relatives need to be firm and tactful, but it's hard to be on top of your game day after day when you're stressed and upset.

Padraig, Doreen, I read you comments with interest. AD is a tough ask for all concerned but we have to press on, don't we.

Best Regards,

Sam

CharleyRice1931
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Total Posts : 397
   Posted 1/29/2007 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sam, Your Mother is spot on there is no posible way any NH can give the care and attension, but most of all love to the unfortunate who are afflicted with ALZ. Who cleans nose, ears with cotton buds and brushes teeth daily? Who can make them feel wanted? There's no way I can ever forget the names of those gentle souls we left behind at that NH. When will we ever learn to shower love on those at the end of life as we do on those at the start. By being abandoned as a child it has given me an appreciation for the love of my wife, and for the loneliness some suffer.

I'm one of the lucky ones because I enjoy caring and am fortunate to be fit enough to go it alone. Success fuels success, but I still always expect the unexpected.
Good luck and God bless, Padraig

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 1/29/2007 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Sam I am so happy you checked out that thread I am looking deperately for something simuliar here in Canada to post as well
God Bless
Lyn


*** Butterfly Kisses G Padriag and Grama Jean I love you both dearly
God Bless
Lyn
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Hotflash1028
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   Posted 1/30/2007 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
What is this "thread" on nursing homes you are speaking of?? How do I locate it?
My Mom is still being drugged, she seems to be getting weaker. She has lost at least 40 pounds now.
she desperately tries to walk but has a difficult time. She tries to talk to us, can hardly open her eyes.
We are trying to move her to another nursing home, however, it is not something that can be done overnight...... Just pray that we get her moved fast enough to where they will help her and put life back into her instead of draining it out.........................

Thank you
Doreen

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 1/31/2007 4:46 AM (GMT -6)   
HI there I will put it back up for you okay it shows where NH are located and quality or lack of care .....
Lyn
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 Never compromise your self nor your dignity... 
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Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 2/1/2007 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Doreen
Did you check out the NH thread yet ??
Lyn
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 Never compromise your self nor your dignity... 
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Howlyncat
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   Posted 2/24/2007 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Doreen Have been wondering how you are doing hoping you were able to have mom moved to another facility
Please let us know okay
Lyn
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
 
 Never compromise your self nor your dignity... 
 Dream, Reach and Believe ......
 
 
          ** When You FEEL Anothers Pain You FEEL Humbled ** 
 
   
                             
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Howlyncat
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   Posted 3/9/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Wordsmith
Wondering if you would email me if you have a second
Thanks
LYN
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 Never compromise your self nor your dignity... 
 Dream, Reach and Believe ......
 
 
          ** When You FEEL Anothers Pain You FEEL Humbled ** 
 
   
                             
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 Moderator@ Alzheimer's 
 Moderator @ Anxiety/Panic
 
                                     LYN
                                  
                          
                                  


Howlyncat
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   Posted 4/10/2007 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Just wondering where Doreen and Wordsmith are lately
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Take that Lil step ..I will hold your hand and we will make big strides
 
                             
 
   LYN                               
                          
                                  


Howlyncat
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   Posted 8/8/2007 2:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Bringing this Essay up for new members and older ones as well

Great essay IMHO
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minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 8/9/2007 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
The essay is very true and it's sad to know that this is happening  in some nursing homes. It's heart breaking to know that elderly are abused and neglected. Yes, if the resident is combative and agitated they are putting them in medication to calm them down. It's easier for them to sedate people than to deal with the actual problem. So one day you just see your loved one, totally out of reality, not knowing you, totally helpless. This is unacceptable but it happen. 

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/16/2007 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
So rightly put MM
Thanks for your input
I thought and still believe this is a great essay .......

Take care

LYN
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 DX with Crohns, Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety /Panic
 
  
 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


Howlyncat
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   Posted 10/10/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Bringing to top

great essay.........
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 DX with Crohns, Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety /Panic
 
  
          Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
                 EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
                 " Friends Are Cheaper Than Therapists "
 
  
                                  

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