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Work after a dementia diagnosis
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2016 7:05 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Dementia in the Workplace: How long should someone with dementia keep working?

In August 2011, University of Tennessee (UT) women's basketball coach Pat Summitt announced that she had been diagnosed, three months earlier, with early-onset dementia. She also stated that she would continue to coach her Lady Vols through the 2011–2012 season.

Summitt's announcement has spurred an important national conversation about how long people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia can or should continue working. It's a complicated decision, and one that thousands of Americans are faced with every year.

 

read more:

http://patients.aan.com/resources/neurologynow/?event=home.showArticle&idvid.com:/bib/ovftdb/01222928-201107060-00009 


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2016 7:10 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


I tried to post the entire article above, but I could not.  Perhaps they added some software to prevent copying.  


I did a search in responding to a new member on the I Have AD board, and came across this article.  I was struck by the statement that dementia is like a learning disability.  This confirms what my neuropsychologist told me.


I also paid attention to Pat Summitt's daily schedule, at the end of the article.  It looks like she is doing Best Practices for herself.


Iris L


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 10:22 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


In early Alzheimer's, work is possible with support - CNN.com

www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/24/early.dementia.work/
CNN
Aug 26, 2011 - Coach Pat Summitt announced she'd continue working after dementia diagnosis; People in early Alzheimer's can be pretty independent, may ...

llee08032
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 10:27 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Supporting people with dementia in the workplace | Personnel Today

www.personneltoday.com/hr/supporting-people-dementia-workplace/
Jul 16, 2014 - Dementia is a national challenge and businesses are not immune. ... arising at work and enabling people to continue to work after a diagnosis.

llee08032
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 10:29 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Iris,

Thank you for raising this important topic. 


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 1:55 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Thank you for sharing those two articles, Ilee. I wish there was some way of providing more updated information.  Neither article talks about treatment, which does improve memory and functioning.  Also, there is no talk in depth of reasonable accommodations.  


I have discovered that I can do most of what I did before, but I am a bit slower, and I must be more methodical in my actions.


People who have incurred a stroke are encouraged with vocational rehabilitation in order to return them to their prior work, or to find new work.  This type of rehabilitation is not offered to PWDs.  Until it is, there is little reason for PWDs to be forthcoming in their diagnosis, IMO, because they are not going to get any help.


 

Iris L.


KKD
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 2:22 PM
Joined: 6/1/2016
Posts: 10


For people who are reading this thread, below is the question I posed on the I Have AD board.  Thank you in advance to any ideas people may have!  

I've been diagnosed with MCI - Mild Cognitive Impairment - but would like to find a job to keep some money coming in and to get out of the house.  Does anybody have any experience job hunting with MCI?  Should I disclose to the employer?

Then there's the question of what kind of job to look for.  The impairment makes it difficult for me to multitask so I know I need to look for something that allows me to focus on one thing at a time.  Plus I have trouble doing complex problem solving, so I need something fairly simple.  Does anybody have any ideas?  I was thinking about cashiering -- even though my numeracy skills are low, the machine does the math for you these days. Thoughts?

KKD
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 2:46 PM
Joined: 6/1/2016
Posts: 10


While purusing the internet, looking for information on working with cognitive impairment, I found the JAN website.  It is the federal department of Labor and Employment's website for accommodating disabilities in the workplace.  Here's there pamphlet on accomodations for cognitive impairment.  It's great!  I picked up several ideas here: 
http://askjan.org/media/cogn.htm

Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2016 3:03 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Thanks for posting the JAN site, KKD.  I had seen that site a couple of years ago or so, and it is very helpful.  


If you go back about two or three years, you may find some posts from Myriam, who was an attorney, about the ADA and her thoughts about how it can help with work accommodations.


Did your MCI symptoms have anything to do with why you are not working now?  Are you eligible for vocational rehabilitation?


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2016 7:54 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Iris wrote: People who have incurred a stroke are encouraged with vocational rehabilitation in order to return them to their prior work, or to find new work.  This type of rehabilitation is not offered to PWDs.  Until it is, there is little reason for PWDs to be forthcoming in their diagnosis, IMO, because they are not going to get any help.

Sad but true Iris. I often wonder about others like myself working and trying to manage symptoms in secret and silence. I won't allow the circumstances of my disability not being accommodated to get me down and I am grateful for each day that I am still able to work and earn a living. 


KKD,

What type of work experience do you have?



KKD
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2016 1:31 PM
Joined: 6/1/2016
Posts: 10


Ilee -- I taught for 20 years -- secondary Language Arts, in the later years working with at-risk youth.  In between my different positions I did a stint as a secretary and another as a coach teaching Nonviolent Communication.

My MCI has gotten to where it's really difficult to multitask and remember student names and the names of the characters in the novel I'm teaching.  It was becoming quite embarrassing -- I don't think classroom teaching is an option anymore.

However, something one-on-one that doesn't require presenting to groups would be great!  And there are a lot of jobs like that, so now the problem is narrowing down the field


KKD
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2016 1:37 PM
Joined: 6/1/2016
Posts: 10


Iris -- When I was first diagnosed my neuropsychiatrist sent me for rehab but my insurance wouldn't cover it.  Now I've been unemployed for a while having back surgery -- wanted to get my scoliosis fixed before heading back into the job market.  I wish I could get my brain 'fixed'!  LOL  Wouldn't that be great?!

At any rate, I'm on Medicaid now -- I should ask my neurospych to prescribe rehab again. 

Thank you so much for reminding me about rehab, Iris!!  A rehab counselor would know the job market and what's needed... great idea!


llee08032
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2016 10:33 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


KKD,

Sounds like you have had an interesting and fulfilling career. I hope you are recovering well from the back surgery w/o any complications. Perhaps tutoring for one of the learning centers or something else in line with your teaching background? I don't think cashiers have to count change these days but they must have to balance the register? I do not think I could be a cashier today although I did it in my younger years. Please carefully consider the environments of various work settings some of which can be noisy, crowded, over stimulating, stressful and distracting for a person with a cognitive impairment or dementia. 


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 12:06 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


KKD, I was able to obtain cognitive rehabilitation therapy for three months paid by insurance under a diagnosis of anoxic brain injury from the rehabilitation doctor.  After that, I did another two months self-pay at $100/hour.   


If you get a chance to do PositScience Brain Fitness exercises, that can help.  I believea PositScience helped me more than the five months of cognitive rehabilitation therapy.  I did PositScience for three trimesters at an Adult School.  PositScience was recommended by my neurologist.


Be very careful about disclosing your medical history and possible disability to a new employer.  You may want to consult an employment attorney or at least do a lot of research on the internet in this area.


Iris L.