Tag Archives: Dementia Care

Dr McGivney’s new solutions for Alzheimer’s family caregivers.

Dr McGivney’s new solutions for Alzheimer’s family caregivers.

angry-caregiver Its common knowledge: Helping to care for a sick or dying loved one exacts a steep emotional toll. Many studies find  that caregivers rate their stress level as high, and many acknowledge they have less time to spend with family and friends. This is not new news.

Most experts also note that family caregivers should take care of themselves first.  They caution that not doing so might put the family care giver at  risk of emotional exhaustion, health problems and even caregiver burnout which can lead to more stress full interactions with the one you are caring for and your own family.

Common caregiver tips

Put your physical needs first.

Take a break.

Deal with your feelings.

Find time to relax.

Connect with friends.

 

Ask for help.

Call on community resources.

Get organized.

 

Stay positive.

 

What all of these great suggestions lack is the how do you do it.

They skirt the real questions of how to pay for it, how to get the skilled team of staff you need and then how to retain as much senior control over their life as possible while having the plan for the future.   None of the above “tips” address the facts that caregiving is time consuming, expensive, and very emotionally charged especially for family caregivers.

Senior-Man-son-worried senior-couple-checkers

The fact is senior care and care giving is time consuming, skilled and expensive. 

As your parents age and undergo the usual cognitive changes and often times changes compounded by dementia with paranoia those changes increase the stress for family caregivers who have to deal with the fact and  normal emotional resistance all humans have to accepting defeat and losing control over their lives. 

 

Less well known Alzheimer’s Disease Behavior Triggers – Being the son or daughter!

Any father or mother is upset by knowing or just feeling they have lost the role of father to a son or daughter and now are the child.  That is not a feeling any of us ever are prepared for and is a root cause for many difficulties for family caregivers.

In fact the son is taking more control of the parent’s life and decision making but it is out of necessity.   That is a very difficult thing for normal human parent’s minds to accept.  That goes against all emotional survival training our parents have learned thought out life.  In all cases, the go to emotional and coping approaches of be positive and think better things are coming no longer work.  We need to accept that to fix it.

Beleidigter-Senior  pouting-senior

 

 

 

Other triggers for needing more Dementia Care

The trigger and worsening of that understanding or exaggerated belief often comes when a family notes mom or dad needs more help than incidental family assistance.  For example mom can’t reliably take her pills and  someone else needs to fill the pill box and remind her two or three times a day to take the pills.  The issue of safe driving or signing an estate plan and essentially giving away all of your money with no known, expected, proven extended family care plan or extended family care team to reasonably rely on for care of the parent as they age.

If we ask ourselves how would our nuclear family care for us if we were in an car accident right now and we needed that amount of help we would correctly be concerned too.  Would we all just give away our life savings?  Would we trust the family could provide the complex broad based care that we need and which will increase in the future?

Look for places that show commitment, build professional social relationships and accept some extended social responsibility.  Extended family care teams.

While many places advertise age in place or “we care” few advertise we want to be responsible, or we can visit you when you are out of our facility, or  we want to have all family call us any time.  Most managers delegate that work to a staffer but in fact health care and senior care are very personal items that is it hard to delegate. Second, senor care is inherently complicated by complex medical issues that most managers do not know how to approach.  All of which leads to super specialized but disjointed, difficult to use and trust systems of health care.

In the old days the doctor did a lot of outpatient, social work and coordination of care but with the loss of the old fashioned doctor you need other choices that can bring back that sense of responsibility for care and expectation of ongoing care.

The new solution for caregiver stress that save money, offers more complete care, and reduces stress for the entire multi – generational family.

Will be in our next post. Hint find an extended family care team and setting which is the one stop shop for all of your senior care needs.  The senior care value buffet.

See you in my next post. Like, shares, comments appreciated.

Register for free, and comment.

 

Usefull Links

TLCSRLV youtube Channel.  Subscribe for free.

Frustrated with Home Care Service? Get Home Care answers here! 

 

Likes, shares, comments help us to continue to post these free educational tips.

 

Dr Shawn McGivney

All Dementia Care and Assisted Living Facilities offer the same thing- Care!

smiling-nurse Dementia care and Assisted Living are services.
Each senior housing and senior living alternative offers assistance and elder care. Finding and coordinating individual on a care team including attention to team communication, social abilities, personality and interest for caregiving of a group of human beings is a very special task when it happens.

Assisted Living Services

We can only know WHO WE ARE HIRING by meeting each individual on the Assisted Living service team. When you choose any senior housing and care setting remember your focus is on WHO is supplying and coordinating the care you will need. Be sure to consider you are getting a service that can only be provided by a team of humans and is not provided by an assembly line.  More than renting a room or a hotel style Assisted Living resort you are buying a service and need to meet the individuals who will supply the assisted care and those managers, administrators, and owners who will be doing the problem solving for you.

residential-care-choices-kf Home care and Respite care

Before choosing the expensive, short term, less coordinated care, of home care or respite care consider the more permanent choice of a family style residential care home where you know the owner, administrator and caregivers and that care team can adjust and grow with you throughout the last chapter of life.

Look for a care team that can do the day to day care but also one with supervised training from a hands on administrator and owner who can deal with insurance issues, doctors order confusion, hospital and other discharges.  The health care system is so complex respite care and home care can’t hope to deal with these problems when they arise since they lack management and medical coordination of care.  Also consider that you need to be part of a custodial and complete care team that can grow with you and your loved one as the last chapter of life unfolds.   Residential care homes offer complete, permanent home care and respite care and high level coordination of care at a fraction of the cost of in-home care and respite care.

Dementia Care and Assisted Living care teams

When searching for any senior care setting focus more on the care team than the physical setting or setting label. The team requires you meet the administrator or captain of the ship who hires, trains, monitors the caregivers and medication techs.  The closer that relationship of administrator to staff caregivers the better the care and caring.

 

Please share comments below.    

Other educational links

Home care

AARP- caregiving resource center     

Tlcsr 

 

By Dr Shawn McGivney

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE LAS VEGAS: HOW WILL NEW ALZHEIMERS TEST HELP YOU?

Alzheimers-disease-kf

At-home test may help diagnose Alzheimer’s

NEW TEST TO DIAGNOSE ALZHEIMER’S.  4 pg test, with written questions to answer and drawings.

 

While this article brings up another new tool the doctor can use to prompt himself to ask a wide range of questions in the interview it is not new.   A doctor always uses interview questions coupled with history and medical exam to narrow down all causes of cognitive loss so I am not sure how new this is.

Alzheimer’s is very difficult to diagnoses as a single pure entity and in fact most often Alzheimer’s overlaps a lot with many other things like Dementia, Parkinson’s, Neurological issues, wide based gait, and cns vascular disease to name some.  Indeed, aging and benign forgetfulness also is in there to complicate the diagnosis and all the life causes of poor mood as one ages and declines in function.  In fact, a depressed mood in many ways is “normal” when faced with the end of life and loss of your friends, own abilities, and prospects for the future.  To call all of this Alzheimer’s or anything to me is misleading and instead I would prefer we focus on the treatment of having the best, most consistent, care team possible to deal with all chronically ill people no matter what the label.

I am also not sure how they will treat cognitive loss differently from how they do today if you find it.  The current meds Aricept, Namenda, Exelon are hit or miss at best.

HERE IS WHAT WORKS AND HAS WORKED FOR ALL MEDICAL CARE AND ALZHEIMER’S CARE IF INDEED “ALZHEIMER’S” EVER EXISTS BY ITSELF WITHOUT OTHER MEDICAL, SOCIAL, FINANCIAL AND LIFE ISSUES.

The one treatment that works for all humans is caring and relationship building with the best care team you can find.  If you jump from one doctor to the next or the doctors don’t feel invested enough to stick with you as their / your treatment ideas are implemented and evolve you can imagine the care might be disjointed, incomplete and there by less effective.

Medicine is a process of trying various treatments and then following closely the response and adjusting those treatments.  People change, treatments change or evolve, and emotional health is all about relationships so that is the best and most cost effective treatment for all chronic disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have a personal care team with a team leader or doctor who is active in sticking with you and willing to lead and make care decisions you can adjust to all diseases and emotional issues that arise.  Instead what we see is referral of the work and risk of the care and decision making to the next doctor.  In some ways that is kind of like warren buffets weapons of mass destruction and selling the toxic mortgages down the road to the next sucker but in this case we are hurting the humans and are passing along human suffering.  Homes are tangible products which in most cases are used and lived in and not decaying as a human being would which the service contract or mortgage is passed along.   In that case do not harm is the harm.  Being unwilling to make the diagnosis and try a treatment is more risky than not trying and just doing nothing or “no harm”.    You never know what will happen and what will change after you make the first choice of treatment to try that is why medicine is an art and clinical process and requires continuity of care and a steady relationship with the doctor to follow, adjust, and evolve your multiple level of treatments.  Even if your first treatment works you would not stop there but will add, adjust, modify treatment constantly.  There is no one flow sheet to follow.  All humans are complex beings and the choices in treatment are even more complex when you include the finance, social and emotional elements of those treatments.

 

Those who read my blog will recognize this quote that really sums up all medical and human caring:

“If you treat the disease you win or lose but if you treat the person you win NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME.” Patch Adams, the movie Patch.

That last part is the key.  If the doctor and patient stick together, work together, in all care settings dealing with ALL PHYSICAL, MEDICAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND  COMPLEX OVERLAPPING LIFE ISSUES then you and those around you who care and are active in the care process are likely to feel  that they have made a difference and done the best possible in these difficult situations.  One might even say they feel good about whatever happens.

 

We all have the choice to choose our care setting and there by care team.  If you instead choose the insurance first then you really have no idea who or what care you will get.  Also if the doctor is the direct employee in practice of the insurance company and he has less or no expected interdependent relationship with the patient and their social system then it is likely both will act to protect themselves first and the care will be less consistent.  The patient might save money since that is all they can do and the doctor / representative of the insurance company might save time and pass the toxic risk / work of providing care, trying, making decisions to the next doctor.

GOOD NEWS!  WE ARE IN CONTROL.  WE CAN CHOOSE OUR CARE SETTING AND CARE TEAM!

We all can visit many care settings and choose the one we want to pay for.  If we have Medicaid or are on a government program we still can choose by visiting many providers of that care type and choosing one closest to our most frequent visitor and the best one.  We all need to make the time and take the time for this search when it comes.

I hope all are empowered by this.  You can choose!  All doctors and care settings are not the same.  Your control is by visiting many and choosing the best care team possible.  Indeed, in the end you might find it is cheaper to pay a fixed price than the bait and switch model of a relatively lower advertised cost for the room and then add ons for the care or assistance and medication management etc.

What do you think?  Share your views here.

Check out these fantastic Residential Care and Alzheimer’s Care Services.  Remember to consider all of these in your search for a care team since they all provide care —Residential care, Assisted Living, Home Care, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care and Nursing Homes all offer custodial care but what varies is the care team you choose when you choose any care setting.  Who is doing the day to day training, supervision, and support and hands-on management and who is doing the custodial care?   Look for the care team to get the best Assisted Living, Residential Care, Home Care, Retirement Community, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Memory Care in any care setting.  Look beyond the setting label and find out who you are getting before you buy.

Tender Loving Care Senior Residence

Or

Tender Loving Care Senior Residential Care, Costa Brava  –

Educational video links

TLCSRLV youtube Channel.  Subscribe for free.

Assisted Living and Residential Care Home Video Tour.

 

Assisted Living and Residential Care Home Testimonial

 

 THANKS FOR LIKING AND SHARING 

Dr Shawn McGivney

 

 

 

DEMENTIA CARE: LAS VEGAS DEMENTIA CARE COSTS PROJECTED TO RISE!

Dementia-Care-Costs

 Dementia Care Costs will be reflected in the cost of Dementia Care in Las Vegas too.  I wanted to share this NYT article Dementia Care Cost Is Projected To Double by 2040” by +Pam Belluck.

This article is a good description of the aggregate dollar costs spent on Dementia Care and only begins to touch on the spiritual, social, and family costs of Dementia Care.  Unless we can improve the Dementia Care that is available to families so that families feel that the care teams are invested in caring for a member of their family team as an extended family many families will still choose to do the Dementia Care at home.

By having Dementia Care Homes, or Dementia Care Facilities, that offer more family style care families can feel good about the care their loved one is receiving.  Now there is a dementia care shortage of Residential Care Homes that offer this type of care.  The more institutional settings of a big Assisted Living Memory Care Unit often are just too big for the administration and staff to know each resident and their families well.

Another New Old Age Blog Article helps us see what to do.

Studies Find Mixed Results for Dementia Units

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/dementia-care-units-may-improve-care-studies-suggest/

You need to know who you are getting to know what you are getting in Dementia Care or any Senior care Service.

Meet and know both the caregivers and the administration to get the best Dementia Care and value.

Mean Caregiver Or Nice Caregiver?

Mean-CaregiverNice-Caregiver

 

The article implies that while big Assisted Living and Institutional Dementia Care units try to improve their image with unique names you need to look beyond the name to meet the care givers and administration who you are hiring.  We note that the above article is correct, Dementia Care is expensive, but we also note that to get the best care and value you need to know who you are getting to provide that Dementia Care in a Residential Care Home, Home Care or Dementia Care unit.

Here are example of names Dementia Care Units adopt from this article –The Memory Care unit, The Reminiscence Neighborhood, Homestead.  Read the full article Studies Find Mixed Results for Dementia Units.

They go on to say “That’s probably because there’s little standardization or regulation of what dementia units should offer and for whom, so some probably do a fine job while others just lock the doors. To complicate things further, many Assisted Living Facilities have specialized units for dementia, too.”

That is the point we want to expand on to save you money and get you better social, emotional, and spiritual value for your private pay Dementia Care dollars.  Precisely because there is little standardization the care teams vary widely.  Indeed, you can’t know what you are getting when getting any service until you know who you are getting.  That is our message to meet and know the direct care team including caregivers and administrator and managers.

Two common mistakes to avoid when looking for Dementia Care in any care setting.

We know that all senior care is a service and has two parts both of which are important – the custodial care and the administration and management.  The two mistakes are to classify custodial care as unskilled when in fact it is a very skilled job.  The second mistake is not to assume the management are able or available to deal with problems and emergencies and  are interacting day to day with their care team that you are hiring.

Custodial care is in fact a very skilled service even if some mistakenly label it as unskilled or less skilled.

The custodial, day to day, care which arguable provides the “quality of life” can be seen when you look at the in-kind feelings and experiences there ideas reflect  “the day to day I care”, the attitude of “I will sit with you, let’s talk about your daughter and grandkids” and the many conversations that could occur while doing the day to day personal care.  Beyond the important emotional health issues  there is more skilled care dealing with obtaining, faxing, recording, giving, and following up on the medications, the doctors’ order, and dealing with insurance and medical problems when they arise. Patient-Caregiver

Care Givers are skilled and families need to understand that all caregivers are not the same.  The article quote above says there is little standardization which means beyond some very basic training of 8 hrs the training comes from the administration and care team itself.  Families need to understand that caregiving is very difficult for themselves and has devastating results on their own multi-generational  families and that finding substitutes to provide complex, very difficult, emotionally rewarding care requires each family meet the entire care team they are hiring for to help their loved one and entire extended family for the last chapter of life of one of their own family team members.

Skilled-Caregiver Caregivers are often mistakenly classified as Less Skilled or unskilled when in fact they provide the direct care, they implement all the doctors’ orders, and they are the eyes and ears of the doctors who make decisions based on what the care givers see, understand, and do.  Care givers are very skilled people

Because they have good social skills, are smart and able to learn the many complex tasks required to do medical related care they can easily move on and do something easier.  If you and the administration don’t treat them fairly they will move on since they are very skilled.  If you have staff turnover you are likely getting less skilled workers as is often the case in Assisted Living and Home Care.  The administration is investing less in all that extra training and paying for those with the outstanding social skills.   Even if there were standardizations we know that when it comes to caring, social connectedness, diligence, work ethic in any profession even professions with high amounts of standardization like becoming a doctor, lawyer, or politician there is a wide range of “skills” and “values”.  In all cases you need to meet the entire care team of care givers and administrators.

Many say the caregivers are “less skilled” or “unskilled” in fact the behavioral treatments that provide most of the care and feeling good in dementia care come from the highly skilled caregivers who provide not only the custodial care but who understand, communicate, and implement all of the doctors’ orders.  Remember these caregivers understand the orders given by the internal medicine doctor, the psych doctor, the cardiologist, the urologist and many other doctors and the families all at once.  That takes a knowledgeable person who knows the medical terms, equipment and diseases and who has impeccable social skills, patience, and mother like skills to understand, implement and monitor all of those things for the many doctors who write the orders.  Caring for people with cognitive disorders and who not kids are is a very different emotional task than caring for kids where the parent or caregiver is the presumed responsible party.  It is the parent’s way or highway works in child care but in Dementia Care that is not the case.  The senior with mild cognitive loss generally has some mild paranoia and has at least some unrealistic expectations and it is the caregivers who have to adjust which is not an easy task

.  Indeed, it is even harder for families

to adjust because they were and still are “the kids” in the eyes of the cognitively impaired parents.  The son or daughter’s  job of reestablishing themselves as the parent when a senior has even mild loss of insight and judgment and paranoia will be very difficult.  That is why you need to look for the best care team of caregivers and administrative staff to get the best Dementia Care in any care setting including Assisted Living, Assisted Living Memory Care, Residential Care, and Residential Care with Dementia endorsement, Home Care, Hospice Care and Elder Care in general.

Mistake #2 – The Administrator and managers need to be available and directly connected to the care givers they are supervising. single-family-home

Many families make the mistake of assuming that the administrator and management will be available with little notice to deal with the expected problems and emergencies that occur in complex medical and custodial dementia care.  Families need to know the skilled people, administrators and managers are available and able to deal with medical related problems when they occur.  The administrator also needs to be available to their own staff and the residents on a day to day basis to work directly with and train the skilled care giver staff.  One simple test is to see if the administrator or managers are available to come down and talk to you on a tour when you want or are there for your tour?  If not they might also not be available to deal with the emergencies when they occur also.

new-direction

You don’t think about who is training the caregivers to do that complex skilled work noted above and who will intervene when the problems with medications, insurance, and the doctor arise?   That is generally the role of the administrator or manager and they need to be in close contact with the patients doctor and they also need to be able to understand what the doctor is saying and not saying which is not an easy task.  A two line note often does not consider what was considered in the process of getting to the two line note.   However, if the management has some medical experience it is more realistic that they can interpret the doctor’s notes and orders.   The care givers need constant feedback and assistance to get questions answered on a daily basis from a skilled person generally with medical experience so they can learn.  If a caregiver is working on the floor but never sees that skilled person, never or rarely interacts with the doctor or nurse at the bed side, it is unrealistic that they can know the many degrees of shortness of breath, what wheezing is, or leg edema is.  On the psych side knowing what delusions are and bizarre behaviors are requires not only the administrators bedside training but also you need to know that individual and need to be able to ask your coworkers if this has been going on for days or hours.  If you don’t have that team approach seeing subtle changes is next to impossible.  In dementia care like no other care setting team work of administrator and staff is of paramount importance.

Check out these fantastic Residential Care alternatives to the Assisted Living and Nursing Home Rehab.  Compare Family -Style care of a Residential Care Home to Nursing home and Assisted Living which are more institutional care models.

Residential care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Homes all offer custodial care but what varies is the care team you choose when you choose any care setting.  Who is doing the day to day training, supervision, and support of a hands-on management and who is doing the custodial care?   Look for the care team to get the best Assisted Living, Residential Care, Home Care, Retirement Community, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Memory Care in any care setting.  Look beyond the setting label and find out who you are getting before you buy.

Tender Loving Care Senior Residence
Or
Tender Loving Care Senior Residential Care, Costa Brava  –
Educational video links
TLCSRLV youtube Channel.  Subscribe for free.
 Alzheimer’s Care, Las Vegas: Find the best Alzheimer care home in Las Vegas.
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST – LIKE AND SHARE IT.

Dr Shawn McGivney

ALZHEIMER’S and DEMENTIA CARE COST MORE THAN CANCER OR HEART DISEASE!

CNNMoney reports on a New England Journal of Medicine article that notes the cost of Alzheimers  and Dementia care is already more than the cost of heart disease and will continue to rise.

http://tlcsr.com/blog-dementia-care

Read the article here Dementia Care costs top $100 billion
The headlines are clear.

A new study puts the cost of treating Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia at $109 billion, making it more expensive to society than either cancer or heart disease.  Moreover, the current crisis will continue to grow rapidly as the baby boomers in America age.  What is less clear is the answer to that question of how to provide the care, in a humanistic and family oriented way, at a reasonable cost.  We want to suggest THE CURE TO THE INDIVIDUAL AND GLOBAL HEALTH CARE CRISIS.

TLCSR is the pilot study that answers the question! 

By focusing on continuity of care, people including care team, residents and family society benefits and the care provided is socially more complete.  That is how you get the best value for Senior Care dollars and fix the problem of the global and individual health care crises.  More good news is you dont have to wait for the goverment to help you find the Best, Most Cost Effective, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.  You can do it yourself right now!  Visit Tlcsr.com and tlcsr2.com to find out what to look for in all Senior Care Settings.

How can Continuity of Care and the TLCSR model of care be the cure for both the individual and global health care crises?

http://tlcsr.com/blog-dementia-care4

Our plan cures the issue not only of Dementia Care and Alzheimer’s care but helps fix the individual and global health care crisis.  We have seen a mis use of funds away from the direct care system to sub specialities many of whom say ” I only do this or that.”  That disjointed level of care leads to expensive and less comprehensive care.  A la Cart billing is good for the CEO, Stock holder and the companies bottom line but the servcie buffect, in-kind services, and mothers family style care is better for getting care when needed.  We are not blaming any one person since everyone has participated in getting where we are.  Doctor, Families, Individuals, insurance companies and the government.  What is needed is a better understanding of what care is.  How many of us have at one time or another under valued a caregiver, a mother, a domestic worker, who cares for us?  I have at times felt that as the “skilled” doctor I was smarter, better, than someone less educated.  By doing years of direct care for my own parents mother and  now father I see that caregiving is a skill!  Indeed, my wife and sister do it differently and in many ways better than I do.  Now after 10 years as a direct caregiver I am a much better caregiver.  My view is very unique in that few doctors are given the change to do direct care.

Care does include emotional and social care.

Feelings are the final expression of all Health care no mater what the label.  Indeed most studies specifically exclude feelings, emotional health, social and financial variables since they cant study them.  Even if we cant study them they are the most improtant factor in work, productivity, feeling good, family and social wellness.  Read our post on care vs caring or how are physical care and caring different as other reading. These are not the total answer but they start to provide guidance as to how we can value each other, family, mothers and caregivers more and in turn get more caring and value for our health care and life spending.

Tender Loving Care Senior Residence advertised Continuity of Care and complete care and not just urgent care or quick care.

Indeed, do you want a quick fix or heart felt care from someone who is INVESTED IN YOU FOR THE LONG RUN?

A hospitalist who cares for you for a week, then another doctor in rehab for a week, then …  In all cases you have to be your own doctor and coordinating the care.  While you know how you feel you probably do not really know which tests you would pay for if you were spending your own money.  The tests with the best value physically and emotionally to you.  You are not a doctor, you do not know how to quantify risk, benefit, or cost.

Did you know it is cheaper to buy many medications for cash, out of pocket than, to pay just the copay?  Yes, the co pay alone is more than paying cash!  Why you ask.  The systme makes more money. You have almost no way to know the details of what is needed, and the magnitide of the risks and benefits of your choices even if you are informed. That is why you need a doctor.  The probloem is the doctor directly or indirectly works for someone other than you. The relationsnip with you and the doctor is indirect and short lived.

Continuity of care can help all get more care, better care, for a better price or value.

That is especially true in Dementia Care where the care team is the best treatment for Dementia.

Find the most continuity of care and complete care, find the best individual members of your care team and you will get the best value for your Senior Care dollars.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US RIGHT

NOW BY AFFECTING AT LEAST ONE PERSON IN OUR EXTENDED SOCIAL CIRCLES AND EACH OF US INDIVIDUALLY AS THE BABY BOOM WASHES OVER AMERICA.

Help spread the word.  Make this viral!!

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Click for The Best, Most Cost Effective, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care!.
Dr Shawn McGivney

Dementia Care-Exercise, social interaction may trump meds for Dementia Care

I am glad that medicine is starting to study Dementia Care and emotional health and wellness as much as they are able

Many many not know that most studies SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE FEELINGS, SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND WHAT DOCTORS CALL TRANSFERENCE.  I understand why they do so.  They do so to allow them to focus on variables they can monitor, understand, and quantify.  The problem is that feelings and humanisms, social interactions are way to complicated and multi facited to study.  Love, Hope, Feelings productive, needed, wanted and belonging while essential to humanism and feeling good are very hard to define and quantify.  We all can agree that a picture is worth 1000 words and feelings are invaluable.  Symblols help us to see but social experience, education, enviroment, social values and many other things are needed for each person to produce that unique invividual feeling.

Read this article and then read my comments on the post.  Do you see how one might use this good research to modify how they look for Assisted Living and Senior Care?

Novel Exercise Program May Trump Meds for Dementia

Great article by Caroline Cassels  that confirms what common sense has told us for a long time.

People, all people, have feelings, emotional needs, and being more attentive to them can help all people including people with Dementia Feel better.

At one level that is scarey.

That the science doctors think is complete, their studies, actually fail to include the most powerfull variables to feeling good and getting better where better is feeling betterI often think of the power of family when I recall the old women who one minute is crying in pain from a broken arm, total body arthritis, and bone mets and then just seconds later, has no pain and is smiling when she is offered the change to hold her 3rd great grand child.  Many doctors, social managers, think of the dollar cost and these physical things which is the biggest short coming in my mind for health care today.

A much brighter use of this study is that to feel your best, get the best care, you need to interact with people

That includes staff and other residents.  That is a type of medicine or treatment.  Take a friend out for lunch and you pay.  That might be a better value than the co pay on a pill for depression.   People, friendships, the search for independence are never ending and ongoing up until we die.  Read this article and hear the physical claims but also read betweent the lines to see if you see some of the things I see.

They talk about combining eastern and western therapies. 

I saw straight social dynamics.  We had them sit in a circle.  Circle to me is very group oriented and social.  Indeed, we do an exercise program at Tender Loivng Care Senior Residence every day in a circle.  Less for the exercise and more for the emotional and social benefit.  What you call it really does not matter but the fact is people need people to feel good.  The physial place matters much less than the people.  A second example is our email program at tlcsr.  We do that more for the family to feel connected than the senior with mild dementia.  Some may say that is a semantic difference but we believe those social sensitivity differences make a big difference in how the entire social system feel and deals with aging now and then their own againg in the future.

Second, the author notes”the program focused on creating a “loving, nonjudgmental enviroment to promote postivie feelings and joy” and used music to enhance this effect.  I agree 100%.

What I was hearing is find the best caregivers and care team you can.  

Look for continuity of care to get the best care, and best value for any private senior care dollars.  Of course, we say repeatedly in this blog Continuity of Care  is the cure to the individual and global health care crisis and that includes Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, and Memory care and ALL OTHER DISEASE LABELS YOU HAVE!

Quoting Patch adams again

“If you treat the disease you win or loose but if you treat the person you WIN NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME.!”

Really look at the last part of that quote.  No matter what the outcome.  Seniors and all of us know we will die. Dying is not as scarey as being alone, abandonded, and shifted home, place, facility to facilty.  More accurately being shifted from one care team to the next!!  Being shifted away from the main care team, your family you have known for your entire life!  Look for a care team that can and will be able to stick with you, visit you, no matter where you go to get the best value and care possible as you age.  If you accept the sales pitch you did not look far enough.  Take the time to meet the entire care team from Doctor, Administrator, caregivers, med techs.  And ask if they interact with each other.  The more continuity of care in your broad based system the better you will feel and the more value you will get for THE SAME health care dollars.
Summary

dementia-careIn discussing these variations of interpretation though words and this blog I hope to raise awarness that all people, families, seniors and care teams need to value each other.  Realtionships, caring are a two way street.  Take the time to find the most continuity of care when ever anyone you love is forced by aging to need assistance and choose Dementia Care or any Senior Care Setting.  Not I did not say move. That focuses onthe physical place, instead use this post to focus on the care team and continuity of the people and care.

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By Shawn McGivney