Saturday, May 2, 2015

And A Child Shall Lead Them

If you are or have been a parent, you know the challenges of everyday family life. 

Working with someone who's changing, has individual needs and wants and many of these may or may not coincide with the point in life or needs of the moment where you are, is a constant and ongoing challenge.

Care giving a Senior loved one has many of the same challenges.

The differences between being a parent to a child and parenting a parent are many as are the similarities.

My first entry on this blog was titled: When The Child Becomes The Mother  It was April, 2013 and our family had changed from "average" to "in crisis" long before that date on a journey we're still trying to understand.

Recently, I read  about Lewy Body Dementia behaviours and attributes and treatments. on the website.. The subject of the entry was medications and LBD, the title of the article: LBD Frequently Asked Questions: When To Consider AntiPsychotic Medications in LBD.

While the LBDA has many good topics and provides valuable information, I find this entry to be less than helpful and even harmful.


(1) Anti psychotics whether "new" or "old" all carry risks. Listen to your TV ads any day for law firms pursuing actions and class action suits against companies who manufacture drugs that have "side effects", many of which can cause severe reactions. 

(2) Skilled Nursing Centers are referred to as "Medical facilities" -- they are far from qualified and very low on the quality level. Ask to see an "examining room" or any equipment for general use should a patient need it. You'll probably find it in a Medical dispensary off premises usually owned by the Long Term Care facility or with whom they have a "preferred" realtionship but not on the premises.

(3)  Check out the quality of the equipment "provided" to the residents. If it's good quality, chances are it comes from private pay insurance or provided by a family member. Residents less fortunate are given equipment that isn't fit to their bodies, their abilties/challenges,(which should be a primary concern to ensure further damage isn't done by equipment like it was to my Mom when they put her in a Gerri chair that had uncovered metal pieces where her leg would slip in and be cut and bruised).

I don't believe we should compare an adult to a child or a Senior's behaviour to a child's behaviour, HOWEVER, I do see similarities in HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS, especially those of adult/child, supervisor/employee, friend/friend.

As with life in general, taking a step back, examining, evaluating and "putting our feet in the moccasins of another and walking in them" are the best directions forging paths of understanding and positive change.

In the four plus years I've been on this journey trying to understand the "system" prevalent in the United States of how we age and how we treat those who are "aging", I see little focus on what "we" are doing and more on what "they" are doing -- meaning TOO LITTLE EXAMINATION of the SYSTEM, the PROCEDURES and the way we INCARCERATE many Seniors RATHER THAN CARE FOR AND ABOUT.

There's medical proof many "symptoms" of Dementia and especially LBD are caused by neurological conditions affecting the brain and the body in general.

HOWEVER,  we may be attributing many behaviors or what is classified as "behavioral symptoms" including aggression, agitation, apathy, depression and anxiety to the Dementia when it's source and cause may be from surroundings and other medical challenges including medications given, neglect on the part of the person or the care givers, UTI's, sores or cuts, bruises or even something as easily corrected as ingrown toenails.

Look. Listen. Learn. Remember . . . you may be next to enter through those doors and sooner than you think.

AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY ... remember Seniors deserve the same high quality concern and attention as Children. Let's follow the same enlightenment path we began walking down when we chose to change parent/childcare for caregiver/Senior.

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