I am glad that medicine is starting to study Dementia Care and emotional health and wellness as much as they are able.
Many many not know that most studies SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE FEELINGS, SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND WHAT DOCTORS CALL TRANSFERENCE. I understand why they do so. They do so to allow them to focus on variables they can monitor, understand, and quantify. The problem is that feelings and humanisms, social interactions are way to complicated and multi facited to study. Love, Hope, Feelings productive, needed, wanted and belonging while essential to humanism and feeling good are very hard to define and quantify. We all can agree that a picture is worth 1000 words and feelings are invaluable. Symblols help us to see but social experience, education, enviroment, social values and many other things are needed for each person to produce that unique invividual feeling.
Read this article and then read my comments on the post. Do you see how one might use this good research to modify how they look for Assisted Living and Senior Care?
Great article by Caroline Cassels that confirms what common sense has told us for a long time.
People, all people, have feelings, emotional needs, and being more attentive to them can help all people including people with Dementia Feel better.
At one level that is scarey.
That the science doctors think is complete, their studies, actually fail to include the most powerfull variables to feeling good and getting better where better is feeling better. I often think of the power of family when I recall the old women who one minute is crying in pain from a broken arm, total body arthritis, and bone mets and then just seconds later, has no pain and is smiling when she is offered the change to hold her 3rd great grand child. Many doctors, social managers, think of the dollar cost and these physical things which is the biggest short coming in my mind for health care today.
A much brighter use of this study is that to feel your best, get the best care, you need to interact with people.
That includes staff and other residents. That is a type of medicine or treatment. Take a friend out for lunch and you pay. That might be a better value than the co pay on a pill for depression. People, friendships, the search for independence are never ending and ongoing up until we die. Read this article and hear the physical claims but also read betweent the lines to see if you see some of the things I see.
They talk about combining eastern and western therapies.
I saw straight social dynamics. We had them sit in a circle. Circle to me is very group oriented and social. Indeed, we do an exercise program at Tender Loivng Care Senior Residence every day in a circle. Less for the exercise and more for the emotional and social benefit. What you call it really does not matter but the fact is people need people to feel good. The physial place matters much less than the people. A second example is our email program at tlcsr. We do that more for the family to feel connected than the senior with mild dementia. Some may say that is a semantic difference but we believe those social sensitivity differences make a big difference in how the entire social system feel and deals with aging now and then their own againg in the future.
Second, the author notes”the program focused on creating a “loving, nonjudgmental enviroment to promote postivie feelings and joy” and used music to enhance this effect. I agree 100%.
What I was hearing is find the best caregivers and care team you can.
Look for continuity of care to get the best care, and best value for any private senior care dollars. Of course, we say repeatedly in this blog Continuity of Care is the cure to the individual and global health care crisis and that includes Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, and Memory care and ALL OTHER DISEASE LABELS YOU HAVE!
Quoting Patch adams again.
“If you treat the disease you win or loose but if you treat the person you WIN NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME.!”
Really look at the last part of that quote. No matter what the outcome. Seniors and all of us know we will die. Dying is not as scarey as being alone, abandonded, and shifted home, place, facility to facilty. More accurately being shifted from one care team to the next!! Being shifted away from the main care team, your family you have known for your entire life! Look for a care team that can and will be able to stick with you, visit you, no matter where you go to get the best value and care possible as you age. If you accept the sales pitch you did not look far enough. Take the time to meet the entire care team from Doctor, Administrator, caregivers, med techs. And ask if they interact with each other. The more continuity of care in your broad based system the better you will feel and the more value you will get for THE SAME health care dollars.
In discussing these variations of interpretation though words and this blog I hope to raise awarness that all people, families, seniors and care teams need to value each other. Realtionships, caring are a two way street. Take the time to find the most continuity of care when ever anyone you love is forced by aging to need assistance and choose Dementia Care or any Senior Care Setting. Not I did not say move. That focuses onthe physical place, instead use this post to focus on the care team and continuity of the people and care.
It is up to you to make this viral!!