Are The Keys In The Freezer?

An Advocate’s Guide for Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

By Patricia Woodell, et al.
Reviewed by Patricia Hemingway

 

are-the-keys-in-the-frezeerHow do families sift through the overwhelming amount of evidence and advice on dementia to determine what is relevant to them and their loved ones? Pat Woodell and her sisters did just that, sharing the results of five years of research, doctors’ visits, testing, and visits to care facilities, so that others may “know now what we did not know then.”

Alzheimer’s is the most common type (60-80%) of dementia, an umbrella term for a neurological disease with several forms. Some types of dementia are reversible. Alzheimer’s is progressive, and has serious physical health consequences.

Woodell’s mother showed signs of dementia prior to age 80. A woman who lived a full and competent life, no one noticed she was losing her way while driving to familiar places. When she suffered a mini-stroke, the family gathered and the testing began.

Family members suffer quilt at not recognizing early warning signs. These subtle cues are often misunderstood. And as Woodell states, “many people won’t confront a reality that might change their lives in ways they cannot yet imagine.” She emphasizes the importance of understanding the course of the disease and its outcome, a knowledge which gives family members—as advocates for their loved one—the tools to plan ahead and provide the best possible care.

A recent Kirkus Review of the book states, “It is these tools the authors generously share in a tightly organized, well-written work…they detail the types of available care facilities…address paying for dementia care…cover hospice and palliative care, and include a chapter on advance care directives. Every chapter ends with Lessons Learned…insightful observations.”

As a reviewer, I was touched by these insightful observations. The authors share their first impressions of a memory care facility:  shock, at the painstakingly slow pace of activity. A profound silence filled the corridors. As the family visited over the months, their appreciation and respect grew for those who worked and lived there. The facility seemed like a “large, quiet family, interacting in muted tones, all intertwined. Today’s innovative memory care settings facilities are more patient-centered, put many decisions in the hands of patients, and promote fun-filled social activity.

What lies ahead for the future? What about those families who cannot, even with the most careful planning, afford the cost of years spent in a care facility? There is heartening news in a final chapter of the book. A village approach is underway, the goal of which is for persons with Alzheimer’s to remain in their own home for as long as possible, in a community supported by friends, neighbors and families who discreetly monitor their lives and help them stay on track. This is the “Village Movement,” and communities across the US are helping seniors age in place.

Then there is “The Alzheimer’s Café,” located in a community center, care facility, or other venue that offers an environment free of embarrassment and judgment. The Café is an informal meeting place for families and professionals to exchange ideas, discuss experience and ideas, and cope with a new reality.

The book is available in the LCS Library. To order, go to Amazon.com, dementiastrategies.com, or Facebook.com/dementiastrategies.

 

Pin It

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
It’s not dementia; it’s multitasking By Bernie Suttle   At the end of any given day when I have regained any item I had misplaced or couldn’t
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia By Mary Anne Molinari, RN, MN, GNCS-BC   When some people age and become a little forgetful, we commonly joke
The Ghosts Among Us By Fred Mittag Catherine the Great (1729-1796)   Catherine was both a lusty and a brilliant woman. She excelled in all her
The Ojo Internet Mailbox (Wherein we publish some comments about our previous issues.)   VIEW FROM THE SOUTH SHORE Barbara Hopkins I lived in
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals

Visit our Advertisers

Author Articles

Our Issues

November 2017

noviembre2017

October 2017

october2017

September 2017

september2017

August 2017

august2017

July 2017

july2017

June 2017

june2017

Mayo 2017

may2017

 

More....