When we face challenges with the baby who doesn't want to seem to "nurse" as we're told they'll "naturally latch on", do we deprive the baby of what it needs to live because the baby isn't "doing it" like they're supposed to or "used to" if they're older. Do we conclude the baby doesn't want to live?
NO. In the twenty first century we move heaven and earth to find out what, why, when, where and most of all how WE can work through this challenge effectively. Seeking medical counsel or counsel from books and You Tube to try to find out what else we can do, how else we can "present" or "offer" or encourage or what else might be affecting this valuable asset to society, this child we've brought into the world.
That's a key phrase in today's world" "Asset to Society". A scary phrase, in my opinion. For who defines "value" of a human being of any age or any capacity?
FAST FORWARD. This baby has survived life and its many challenges and is now faced with the challenge of Dementia. A disease that's taking over the person's thoughts and even the body's daily actions and activities. Now society focuses not on growth and gain but on loss of ability and deterioration and most act in ways that emphasize these activities rather than work to minimize or stabilize these actions.
As a baby and far into adulthood, the focus was on "training" the brain, "expanding abilities" with growth and development. Somewhere along the journey of life individuals and society have taken on the belief that this slows down and even stops.
On TV yesterday I saw someone talking about how the age of 24 was the end of abilities to effectively and efficiently grasp, retain and learn at a pace to keep up in our "modern world". Maybe 25 is the new/old 40 that once was seen as "Over The Hill" and downhill all the way?
Here's the link to Oasis (which, by the way, like AARP now starts for people aged 50 and above): http://www.oasisnet.org/
Inside the walls of facilities for Long Term Care, however, we revert to amusing, cajoling, entertaining and other very mindless activities and call that "individualized caregiving".
Come along with me sometime to visit Mom's old SNC/LTC facility or drop into one and really look around, listen and learn. Mom stayed in her room; sat in one place; busied herself with what she had or found to do; and, waited . . . to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it.
Those marketing pieces and glossy pictures and videos don't portray the reality of almost every "average" SNC/LTC facility. Under staffed, run by people who focus on the bottom line (even the Not For Profits) and constantly besieged by more and more paperwork and less and less time to devote to services -- they are as "shelved" as the people they serve.
- Clocks and watches used to have to be wound to be functional.
- Auto settings on appliances didn't exist; you had to actively turn them on & off.
- People repaired or had repaired shoes, clothing, tools, appliances and more, stimulating business and brains to remember, retain and function.
- Families were units of generations caring about and for one another; often living together or nearby.
What if we weren't a "throw away and consumer oriented society"?
Dementia may be visible as an accumulation of plaques or other materials but what about our bodies and what they can show when they're not taken care of?
- We valued age as we value youth.
- Experience and learning wasn't considered obsolete because it was gained at another time in another place.
- We realized you can continue to learn, to grow and to become even when you're confined to a specific space or place if someone takes an interest in you and if someone cares enough to work with you.
- Dementia is a disease to acknowledge for more than the damage it does.
- Dementia is measureable and it's also workable; it might even be preventable in total or to a significant degree.
- A TODAY to value themselves and continue to grow and learn
- A TOMORROW to look forward to great possibilities
- A future YESTERDAY filled with more positive memories