Sunday, April 20, 2014

Constructing Change: Teepa Snow, Whoopi Goldberg, Kelsey Grammer

Reading this blog you might think we're negative and only see what's wrong with Dementia care and especially in Long Term Care Facilities.

The reality of life is you generally talk about and live within the parameters of what you experience or learn about. Our experiences are definitely more on the "dark side" of Elder Care and especially Dementia care but within the darkness has been ENGLIGHTENMENT and that is what we also share in this blog.

We realized we were not alone in our experiences. Advocating, becoming involved and networking we heard stories similar to our own about Undue Influence, Abuse, Neglect and poor Senior Caregiving.

Generally, people who have these experiences are often consumed and confused just trying to survive another day dealing with dementia.

We've decided to raise our voices and provide actual personal experience with Dementia (especially Lewy Body Dementia) to build awareness and provide opportunity for advocacy and change.

There are a few people who are on the "cutting edge" of trying to change how Seniors with Dementia are seen, cared for and provided for. Teepa Snow is one of those rare individuals whose voice is growing stronger, louder and certainly more visible with her new website http://www.teepasnow.com/  and parts of her videos which you can see at https://www.youtube.com/user/teepasnow

We found one of her videos when searching You Tube sometime after Mom was initially diagnosed with possible/probable Lewy Body Dementia in the mid or late stages.

At that time, there was very little on Lewy Body Dementia available on the web; this was Spring 2012 and it seems like an eternity has passed instead of just two years with the NEW and visionary entries on LBD on many sites.

Teepa's approach to caregiving for Dementia patients focuses on her work with patients directly as an Occupational Therapist. This branch of Therapy, in our opinion, is the one least used in facilities mainly because there is very little financial support through Medicare and Medicaid for the general population.

In Mom's facility, almost all Physical Therapy was provided in a special area or room with varying types of equipment. Occupational Therapy tends to use everyday items to rebuild skillsets and can often be done outside of a specific location including the resident's room or the patient's home.

In facilities and leaving hospitals for Rehab, the coverage by many private insurances and definitely through Medicare/Medicaid, is geared towards physical therapy with occupational therapy seen as aiding stroke victims and sometimes to regain basic skillsets like eating, dressing and other personal care areas.

Therapy is an additional financial expenditure. Teepa goes beyond this concept and broaden's the approach of caregiving to every person, especially those providing the daily services (Aides, primarily but also Nurses and Doctors) to specific ways and means to touch, talk and see what is visible and what is hidden in providing care ensuring the safety and well being of individuals with Dementia. We need more advocates like Teepa Snow within the industry of Senior Care!

The reality in many facilities is the Activity Department is the one that is given the responsibility of developing "social interaction" and various other areas. The challenge becomes anyone can go to Activities but you have to have "orders" for Occupational Therapy from a Doctor and that is reviewed for type and extent by the insurance companies both private, State and Federal.

What Teepa teaches are ways to live, work and play with individuals in various stages of Dementia. She also specifically addresses Lewy Body Dementia, how it differs and specific ways to cope with this roller coaster Dementia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6kz-mcNNzo  and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRC3WLSQSq8

IMPORTANT NOTE: Teepa provides programs to various organizations and groups, some of her more informative presentations are located on sources not accessible through just searching You Tube with Teepa's name. Suggest as we have done you use her name and also a subject area like: Lewy Body Dementia.

You'll bring up various videos including one by Whoopi Goldberg who's become a spokesperson for the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Here's the connection to Whoopi's PSA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcSYg4xtVus  and to one from Kelsey Grammer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRg2RqQqnNo

Listen, Learn and Spread The Word -- today, resolve to send three people this blog entry  or blogsite and tell them it's important to their health and the health of family members and friends to BECOME AWARE OF LBD AND SENIOR CARE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES.

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