Living with Dementia: Dementia Just Makes The Job Harder, Not Necessarily Impossible

Leah Health Guide
  • One should be very careful when promising something. I never imagined the scenario I am now living through when I promised to take guardianship over my old friend. I envisioned she'd live much longer and in good health-and then, she would die. Not this time! My dear friend is now in a nursing home and not making progress. And my responsibilities are growing. I have met and talked with so many people at the nursing home! The latest meeting was with its administrator. And now, we have a BIG meeting set up for next week. To be discussed: over-medicating my friend, meeting her needs, and assessing where she is at this moment in time and what their prognosis is. And, the cavalry has arrived; I have found the ombudsman for the nursing home who will attend the meeting with me. Having been a teacher for upteen years, I know what it's like for one individual to face a whole crowd from a facility-especially one individual who knows very little about the ins and outs of the workings of the establishment. I also know the value of bringing in reinforcements; therefore, I have found an advocate to help me. It's not that I want an adversarial position; that is furthest from the truth. I believe in working as a partner-but an informed one!

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    The other areas I am dealing with are my friend's financial ones. I am having great difficulty getting two doctors to sign off that my friend is incapacitated. Not that the diagnosis is in question-it's the doctors who are just about impossible to reach! This, too, is what I am seeking help with through the administrator and social worker. I hope to have this settled next week. Without this I cannot even change my friend's address, turn off her electricity, or speak with her creditors!!!


    How is this affecting me and my vascular dementia? It makes me nervous. So many piles of papers. So many appointments. So many new names. So many new problems! I take it one day at a time. I write a daily journal on my computer. I am trying to keep information and names I learn in a file on the nursing home. And, in addition to all this, I am running to the nursing home several days a week to feed my friend as I fear she is missing some meals when I am not there. (I KNOW she is missing meals as she has a friend who is also there who is keeping an eye out for her!)


    I'm taking this weekend off, though. My husband and I are going to our cottage to do a little more work with the renovation. It's been such a rough couple of months since we've been back there. In spite of the work, it IS a respite!


    Thank you to all my readers. Your ideas and encouragement mean very much to me. I will try to write more on a weekly basis from this point on!


Published On: January 11, 2011