Wednesday, 25 November 2015

My gift to my friend: a book

Front cover
I am home, sick with a cold. I feel guilty not being able to visit my current two clients. It's not like having to call in sick, though. When I was teaching, I would have to figure out if I'd have to go in to my classroom, and rewrite my Day Book, and leave easy things for my supply teacher to do! Glad those days are over!!!!

That said, I don't have any outdoor photos today, as I've been popping Advil, and feeling tired, and resting. Hubby is an amazing nurse and caregiver!

What to do? I was playing on Facebook, as I do. I get much support from my remaining friends. (I have unfriended some negative ninnies, who seem to have racist tendencies and do not understand international aid), and I am doing my best to be positive.

There are people who make your day with their clever, witty Facebook posts. My son's sister-in-law is one. My friend, Dale, is another. She writes Funnies with Mommy, as she manages time with her mother who has dementia, and demonstrates all of the new notions about caregiving.

These are wonderful memories!
Dale is a great caregiver. She spend her summertime in Central Ontario, visiting her mom daily, and spends her winters in Florida. She works out with her sibling how to keep her mom entertained, finds places to take her out and about, and finds the joy in dementia.

On Facebook, she'll post the funniest stories about her mother, writes of their activities and her mother's fun comments on life. She does not write about the days when her mom doesn't recognize her, we can read about these difficult times in autobiographies, or see a sanitized version in the movies. There is much to know about caring for someone with dementia. I often share information with Dale, but she always knows what to do with her mom.

The dedication page
She seems to have read all of the caregiving books about the symptoms of dementia, as she is a writer. She is a role model in this respect. She has a thirst for knowledge, as we must.

I collected all of Dale's stories, downloaded her images, and I found Photobook Canada. Placing an order was fairly easy, since I make my own calendars with my photos, for family and friends. The online forms are pretty standard. I'm still writing newsletters for the non-profit group for whom I volunteer.

I chose the 8" x 8" size, chose the layout, and wrote a bit of a dedication to my dear friend, Dale.

What was interesting is following the book from where it was printed in Malasia, to Hong Kong, to the US, and finally to its destination.  

Caring for someone with dementia symptoms

  1. You embrace their reality, don't impose yours on hers.
  2. Agree with them, no matter what they believe. Do not argue. 
  3. Reflect back their feelings, "You are feeling angry?"
  4. Avoid, "Do you remember?" as they will often fail the quiz. Instead: "I remember..., do you?"
  5. Realize that it is very difficult caring for someone with dementia, and there will come a time when some one professional, and a placement is required. 
  6. Dementia symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg. The lack of blood flow to the brain, especially the emotional amygdala, results in lack of inhibitions, the inability to carry out your ADLs (activities of daily living: toileting, dressing, recognizing familiar objects, managing money, managing medications), and other symptoms.
  7. Be realistic, today might be a bad day, but tomorrow might be better.
  8. Live in the present moment. Look for the diamonds every day. Celebrate them!
  9. Contact the Alzheimer's Society, they are experts.
  10. Get an early diagnosis, you will need to prepare.
  11. Be positive. There is much joy in loving a toddler, as there is in loving someone with dementia. Change your expectations.
  12. Get help when you need it.

Caregiving for the caregiver

5 Things You Didn't Know About Alzheimer's Caregivers

1. Caregivers are reluctant to ask family and friends for help
2. Caregivers don't care for themselves
3. Caregivers need ongoing education and different types of help as the disease changes
4. Caregivers need to know that what they do matters
5. Caregivers are very interested in finding solutions to the disease


William Kendall said...

Very good of you to do!

Nancy J said...

You are so caring and thoughtful, and your gift to Dale shows this and so much more. The caring for Alzheimers people, so true.And so many carers leave it way too late before they ask for help.None of us can do that caring forever, there comes a time when professional help is a necessity. Hugs to you both, rest up, get that TLC from Mr J., and enjoy a break.

Powell River Books said...

When I taught I had a substitute folder with a days worth of lesson plans and fill-ins if the regular lessons didn't fill the day. When I became a principal I gave each teacher a folder already prepared to fill with similar things for substitutes, but not all of them took kindly to it. As a principal, when a sub didn't arrive on time (quite often it seemed) I knew how hard it was to walk in cold with no time to plan and continue the regular lessons.

I thought about writing a book about the two and a half years I cared for Mom. She didn't have Alzheimers, but as the years passed became more forgetful. When I was in the middle, it seemed too personal. Afterwards I no longer had the desire to put all those things I learned down on paper. I learned caregiving the trial and error method, and followed examples from helpers we hired for my respite time. - Margy

Red said...

We can have this information in our head but when it comes to real life we're never prepared. One day I thought I could get my Dad off a topic and he would forget about it. No way!