“I see the ocean while crossing the bridge, my heart skips a beat. When was I here last to smell the clean air and amaze at the ocean? It doesn’t matter as it still mesmerizes my mind….close my eyes and the sound is still there, I take a deep breath and breathe in the calm knowing that this is where I belong”. SW
My man Joe Friday – “Just the facts, ma’am.”
The popular social understanding is that Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes a loss of memory, but that turns out to be a cruel misrepresentation. The devastation is much more pervasive. As brain systems are progressively destroyed, behavioral and physical functioning become more and more impaired. Systems for memory, decision-making, judgement, sense of direction/location, speech, continence, walking and eating are all methodically destroyed until the disease progression ends in death.
The losses keep multiplying. Loss of partner, loss of shared decision-maker, loss of roles/functions in the household, loss of shared memories and humorous stories, loss of identity as the person no longer remembers themselves, his or her children or their spouse.
Sad but this could be your family. The average total cost per person with dementia five years before death was more than $287,000. That number compared to costs ranging from $173,000 to $197,000 among groups without any form of dementia. But, the average out-of-pocket spending for dementia patients was 81 percent higher than it was for those without dementia.
The “This can not happen to me” people had better start preparing. Think about helping with Alzheimer’s research by getting into a clinical trial or making a donation.
The Underused Specialist
A geriatrician is a physician already certified in internal or family medicine who has completed additional training in the care of older adults. In addition to providing clinical care, geriatricians are skilled in navigating the labyrinth of psychological and social problems that often arise in the aging population.
Geriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that the supply of Geriatricians contracting while demand increases, ranking at the bottom of the list of specialties that internal medicine residents choose to pursue.
Since the health care of older patients is covered mostly by Medicare low reimbursement rates make sustaining a geriatric practice difficult.
“Medicare disadvantages geriatricians at every turn, paying whatever is asked for medications and procedures, but a pittance for tough care-planning.
There is something wrong about our health care system – we all know it. I worked and lived that life for years with many physicians. Because of Medicare Geriatric Physicians are not practicing. Shafted by the Government, once again.
My Primary Care Physician is an internist and to me she is as knowledgeable as any Gerontologist. She treats me well, knows how to care and treat seniors (after all this IS Williamsburg!) has my medications all straightened out and the best part is that she is loving and compassionate.
So, Sharron……How are you doing?
- My “bad leg” is not bouncing back as well as I thought it might. Being in pain is a lot to bear most of the time – then you add Alzheimer’s. Not a good combination.
- I am looking for a way to increase my pleasure in living – I’m sure many are in my shoes. There are those who are happy and content no matter what life throws at them. Some of us have to dig and plan for things to make us content. I’m a digger!
- Increase of this terrible slow mind robbing disease is just grating on my last nerve. I see myself stumbling and tumbling………..Some of you reading this will know what I mean. Either this is happening to you or you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Yes, I still hide it well.
- A few more vacations are planned for this year – yeah!! I have many hours of driving and/or flying coming up. I’m hoping for days filled with sunshine and relaxation along with new adventures.
- Life is good.
But…………………when things are bad….
A RETIREE’S LAST TRIP TO COSTCO
Yesterday I was at Costco buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Bodie, the Wonder Dog, which weighs 191 lbs. I was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
What did she think I had an elephant?
So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your jacket pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stopped to Pee on a Fire Hydrant and a car hit me.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.
Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.
Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say.
Oh YES, here it comes again!!!
The 2016 Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Oct 22 at Matthew Whaley Elementary School. This will be my 3rd walk and I am so pleased with our Villa team.
In 2015 our chapter (Southeastern Virginia) raised over $735,000 through 6 chapter-hosted Walk events. My wonderful team – The Villas of Five Forks – raised over $4500 and we placed 5th in Williamsburg – right below all the LARGE corporate teams. WE ROCK!! My aim is HIGH for 2016. I’m sure it will involve a new car!!
I have a few suggestions for Villa fundraisers. Let me hear from you if you’re willing to help, most fun and wine of course!! I’m ahead of myself as this will not be until September but I am excited. I am also looking for new items to auction at several events at Brookneal (previously know as Chambrel). I believe they were number one and were so awesome to let us participate at their fundraisers. We need store gift card (grocery stores are nice about that) or any store items. If you’re in the know that would be great for Team Villa. If you own a business and can help us shout out to me.
I hope all of you will join me again.
”Spring, spring is in the air.
I can feel it everywhere.”
March 20th – Halleluiah
Caregiver in the know
While I do not like repeating information this needs to be memorized. It is so important to anyone with memory issues.
- Love me as you always did
- Speak directly to me
- BE with me
- Let me be independent. Let me do as much as possible
- Do not treat me like a burden
- Keep me engage with family and
- Make me feel safe – where I live now, equipment I need, falling
- Celebrate the small things I can do.
- Take care of YOURSELF – see friends, go out to lunch or dinner
- Have someone you can talk to
- Dignity is so important
Thank you for your love and support