Dementia Tool – Get To Know Me!
Several years ago when a ‘routine’ fall in the bathroom took my Dad to the ER our world turned upside down. Within 24 hours of walking into the emergency room, unassisted on his own two feet; Dad was unable to walk, feed himself and recognize members of his family. What???
How is that disasterous outcome even possible?
During the next 36 day journey through our broken and fractured healthcare system it became painstakingly clear how ill-equipped our care environments are for aging bodies struggling with the delerium that inevitably appears in hospital settings.
Does this story sound familiar? Unfortunately, there are far too many of the 15+ million caregivers in the United States that can relate to our families horror story.
Even though I’d been a successful Dementia care professional for well over a decade at the time of my Dad’s experience; the healtchare professionals responsible for his ‘care’ paid no attention to my advocacy efforts. Many showed open exasperation for my insistance that they stop pumping him full of the toxic medications that were clearly causing more harm than benefit.
This battle of ‘wills’ was an exhausting side effect that still haunts me to this very day.
During this 36 day torture ride; I continued my efforts of trying to ‘humanize’ my father to those responsible for his care. I brought in photo albums with images of my Dad and our family. It was my way of trying to show them in vivid colors – the MAN that existed just days before he came in contact with them. Every shift change, I came around with the photo album in the hopes that these ‘caregiving’ robots would soften and recognize the error of not treating patients like PEOPLE!
I’m happy to report that since Dad’s release from his ‘healthcare prison’ we’ve detoxed him off the med-cocktail, changed Doctors and created a holistic care environment in his home; where he is thriving.
For all those folks who want to advocate for their loved ones with memory decline/Dementia – I’ve created a valuable tool called:
‘Get To Know Me!’
It’s an easy-to-use document; that you can fill out and have on-the-ready for any/all service providers that may serve your loved one.