Nov 5, 2013

Posted by in Home Health Care, Hospice, Rehabiltiation, Senior Living, Skilled/Swing Care | 0 Comments

I Think I’m Losing My Mind

losing-my-mindMany of us have said that at some point in our crazy, busy lives. We roll our eyes, make a joke and keep on going.

But for people who are dealing with dementia – either as a patient or as a family or friend who is supporting a dementia patient – it’s very real and painful. Dementia is a part of my family history. Mom used to say that all the women on her side of the family went crazy by the time they turned 70. But the real patient in my family is my dad who received a dementia diagnosis about eight years ago. The progress was blessedly slow for many years. But now it seems to be advancing every month. I don’t make as many jokes about losing my mind. It could happen. Instead, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about dementia and dementia care.

In August, Lanny Butler, author of “A Practical Guide to Dementia Possible Care” came to Pellaand spoke at three events sponsored by Pella Regional Health Center and Vriendschap Village. He started his talk by asking what words came to mind when we heard “dementia.” Words came pouring out from participants: fear, anxiety, crazy, forgetful, hard…

Lanny then shared his word – joy. Yes, joy. As a physical therapist and expert in the area of dementia care, Lanny believes in the goal and purpose of helping people live with joy throughout their lives, even while living with a difficult disease.

“If you believe that an individual who has dementia is unable to bathe, dress, feed and toilet themselves, that will become your loved one’s reality, only because you have made it so for them,” said Lanny Butler. “Often, we unknowingly take away these abilities out of love, but also out of ignorance of what can be done. By doing for them, we have taken away their ability to participate in life, and have taken away much joy we could have shared together. It is our attempt to provide you an alternative to caring for your loved one, change your perception of the process of dementia, and therefore change your reality of what is possible in the months and years ahead. We call our approach to living with dementia, Dementia Possible Care.”

Physical, occupational and speech therapists from Pella Regional participated in training to help them understand how to best serve our patients with dementia. Pella Regional offers care for dementia patients through many different settings, including in the home, as an inpatient or outpatient, in skilled care or in any long term care facility. If you’re struggling to find ways to help your loved one with dementia, contact your doctor or call Rehabilitation at Pella Regional at 641-628-6623 and ask about an evaluation for your individual situation.

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