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Things I have done recently
Things I have done recently
Saturday, January 7, 2012 9:30 AM
Originally posted by: Bob V
Hi Everyone, I know the heartache, frustration, and helplessness caregivers feel each day. My partner of 21 years was diagnosed 4 ½ years ago with moderate to serve stage. We are amazed on how well he is doing. He was a brilliant doctor, with an outstanding practice.
As time goes on he has lost his sense of time and what he did in his life. His professional life meant everything to him. So I did a few things that keep him active and safe, hopefully they will be beneficial to you.
1) I had his hospital marketing department pull together all the news clippings that involved him over his career. I made a book for him to review and discuss with me and friends. They also found old TV news footage that I play back for him.
2) I had him join a monthly retirement group from the hospital that meets monthly for dinner, so he can keep up with what’s going on with his friends and in the medicine world.
3) I created a memory wall in the house with family photos, diplomas, special honors and awards. He spends time looking and reading them.
4) Recently, he has become disoriented about where he lives. Our second home at the shore is in a condo complex, so every house looks the same. I made a sign that has his Name on it, it says, “Jay’s Shore House”. It is placed on the front yard, also a name plaque on the front door. So he can find his way from the car or from trash bins.
5) Inside the front door, I put up an erasable writing board, I write on there where I am and what time I will return. Also I have my cell phone written on there, so he can call me. This helps him feel that I haven’t abandoned him.
6) I made shirts, polo and tee shirts with his name silk screen on them. Also I put on them a fun message, so he wants to wear them, George Washington Medical School Alumni. I got the shirts just in case he wonders off he would be easily identified. In addition belongs to the Safe Return Program.
7) I use my smart phone and take a picture of him every morning after he gets dresses so I have a photo to show just in case he wonders off.
8) I tried to give a photo and information about him to the local police department but they won’t make a file on him until he did get lost. Seem backwards to me, I would think having information on Alzheimer’s patient on file would assist in the search.
9) We just finished adding a first floor addition, a bedroom and bath, plus a handicap ramp access to the driveway. The interior was made to accommodate wheelchair access when the time comes, doorways, shower and toilet. We decided this would be best for our situation; Jay was diagnosed at an early age 69. And he wants to stay in his home as long as possible. And with healthcare costs skyrocketing this made financial sense
10) Those are a few of my tips. But most of all keep them engaged in life, and tell them how much you love them every day. That you and your partner can make it through, and that you have no regrets. Make sure they know that you want to spend time with them and you want to give them the care they need. From the onset Jay and I had a mantra, “To Succeed, Stay Positive and Be Cooperative” and it hasn’t let us down. God Bless you all, and you will be reward someday for you kind devotion and care.
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