Southwood Meeting Notes Jan 13/15

So good to see everyone.  Lots of pressure these days, lots to talk about.

1.  Rumors.  T was advised by one of his suppport workers that B MAY get kicked out of the day program but he hadn't been advised of any problems by the actual program.  Its hard not to feel anxious but a number of people had experienced support staff trying to help, but really speaking out of turn.  The advice - ignore it. 

2. How do you know its time to place your partner in care?  The nature of the disease means lots of ups and downs, things are smooth for awhile, they change, bumps in the road which sometimes seem unsurmountable.  But when is it just too much?  We hear it time and again, caregivers must take care of themselves or they cannot help their loved ones or the rest of their family.  Some good indicators for the caregiver:  you are not sleeping well, you make mistakes at work, things you know that you wouldn't normally do, some caregivers report a lot of physical issues - muscle achiness, soreness.  And then there are the headaches, the backaches, the  short temper, and NO time - to do anything.  Are you finding that you don't have ONE spare minute?  There is no time for anything extra?  That every minute is not accounted for, planned for to get things on the list done that you are sunk?  Are you mad all the time?   If you are answering yes to some or all of these questions, it is time to start thinking of some changes. Respite can be helpful but in some areas it is very difficult to book.   It is not necessarily time for your partner to be in care, but it is time to make some changes in your life. 

General agreement that hospital care is to be avoided.  Neither emergency or wards are in any position to take care of dementia issues.  Hospitals are geared towards physical ailments, anything psychological in nature, they look for the drugs to take care of the situation.  As if that is going to work! 

3.  Power of attorney and Personal directives.  If not done yet. GET THEM DONE.

4.  Facilities - Very few actually have staff that is trained to deal with dementia.  And fewer yet that can deal with physically active with dementia.  The wait lists for the few good facilties are long.  How do you find the facility you need/want? Transition Services in Calgary has a list and they should be able to recommend some for you to consider.  Go Visit them if possible.  See if YOU like them.  A poor placement only compounds the problems - aggression,  and hoarding are some signs of being very unhappy.  Incontenence issues worsen if staff does not have time to assist with regular toileting. 

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