Monday, March 25, 2013

Dementia And A Field Of Flowers

Isn’t this a beautiful picture?  You would think it was taken at a botanical garden.  However, it was taken at Wal-Mart.  Yes, Wal-Mart.  My mother’s favorite flower is the tulip, and Wal-Mart had a beautiful display of flowers for sell.  I asked my husband to take a picture of the myriad of colors, and this is the result.  It is truly beautiful.
Dementia presents itself in as many forms as the tulip is presented in color.  Just when you think you have everything “figured out” with your loved one, a new kink is thrown in the plan, and you are left wondering what to do next.  When you think about it, that situation is really no different from life in general.  Although, dementia makes resolving the situation much more complex.
Throughout the process, though, remember to seek the beauty of the situation.  Your loved one still has so much to give, and you need all they have to offer.  Maybe you need to refocus your lens, look at the scene with a pair of fresh eyes, take the picture, and observe how beautiful life can be.  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dementia And Dancing

Did that title say, “dancing”?  Absolutely! 
I grew up being taught that good girls don’t dance.  So, I didn’t.  OK, maybe I danced when Daddy was not looking, but I certainly never learned how to dance properly.  Then one day I learned from scripture that David danced before God.  The angels, also, dance around the Throne of God.  That was the day my world change.  This girl began dancing.
Now I dance with my senior citizens.  I have a lady who use to be a model.  She doesn’t mind dancing in front of a crowd, and I love to help her do so.  Yesterday, however, I experienced dancing that really made me smile.
Senior Life Journeys has recently begun Hospice Music Therapy.  While singing with a client in a facility, a neighboring lady wandered in to join the music. This lady was about as “big as a minute” (that’s a good Southern phrase from my Momma), and she seemed very interested in our music.  Little did I know this lady would begin dancing to every song we sang.  Whether that song was “Coal Miner’s Daughter” or “Amazing Grace”, she tapped her toes and moved her hips.  It was so much fun!
Later I learned she was a dancer professionally in her younger years.  The amazing part was how she spends her days presently.  It seems she spends the majority of her time with a frown on her face.  That was really hard to believe after witnessing the joy she was experiencing dancing and singing with us.
Dance and sing with everyone you know.  If they have dementia…. if they have cancer…if they have grouchy-ittis…if they are having a bad day.   Just dance and sing!  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sudden On-Set Dementia and NaNa

This week has brought about a great deal of challenge for my family and for me as a Certified Dementia Specialist.  No doubt everyone has experienced something similar,  but it seems my week has received a double dose of challenges.
My husband had bronchitis, my mother had two attacks of her esophagus, I got bronchitis, and my mother-in-law was admitted to our local hospital because of pneumonia.  This pneumonia was not just in one lung, she had pneumonia in both lungs!  About twenty-four hours after admission, her mild dementia advanced rapidly.  That is when I asked for a urinalysis.  As suspected, she also had a urinary tract infection. 
The process of administering antibiotics was started, and soon we saw the dementia go away.  This is to remind us all how important it is to be aware of our loved one’s health.  When sudden on-set symptoms of dementia occur, it is NOT Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is not a disease you get overnight.  Dementia, however, CAN and DOES occur very quickly.  When it does, the body is screaming, “HELP!  SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.”  Listen, take action, and see improvement. 
My mother-in-law will soon leave the hospital.  She is feeling better physically, cognitively, and emotionally.  Maybe we can all sleep through the night.  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.