Saturday, January 28, 2017

Watching Lewy Body Dementia Develop

Even when I walked in the "shoes" of daily living with Lewy Body Dementia, I did not see it, hear it or realize it was advancing and affecting Mom.

We lived together for decades on a daily basis. Perhaps that's why I accepted changes as "growing older" and didn't know what Mom was experiencing wasn't regular aging.

Life brings about change. As we age, there are typical but not always similar changes.

For example, I see many women with severe lines on their faces; some have sunken cheeks, hair (uncolored, that is) turns grey or white, muscular structure changes in arms and legs -- let's not mention the abdomen after giving birth esp by C sections.

Men, too, experience changes. Just turn on the TV and see all the "male enhancers" advertised.

Do we grow more cautious;do we react more to warnings, "Watch it. Hold on tight. Be careful. You might fall."

Children, grown now, seem to forget giving negative instruction bears negative reaction. 

Conversations with their parent is often full of admonitions, advice and instruction when observation, listening and conversation through the years as well as during the times of need, are most important.

We removed the carpeting attached to our stairs when we noticed Mom's hesitancy going up and down. This was well before she became more physically challenged. 

A cane came into use and we tore out a step and replaced it with an outdoor wooden walkway leading to our back door raising the level and ensuring there was a banister for balance.

Mom developed cataracts; we were told by her "regular" eye doctor, they just weren't ready to "be removed" and this went on for about three years. 

We should have changed eye Dr's earlier. Consulting with a more "advanced" office we found out Mom could have laser surgery and it was, indeed, possible and best then and not later.

Doctors have agendas; they have opinions; they are not all created equal.

SPEECH AND SPEAKING:  Listen carefully and you might hear the brain "interruptions" in some speaking patterns. I heard it today in the voice of a prominent older entertainer commenting on another entertainer's passing.

It's not so much a hesitancy with Lewy Body, but a change in the tempo and cadence.

THE EYES ARE WINDOWS:  Looking back I recall Mom's "focus" when she was talking moved more and more away from the people with whom she was talking and seemed to wander more "inside herself". 

Some would say she was "thinking" but I wonder if this wasn't a reflection of her brain's movement among more memories being "reviewed" and less communication about the time and place we were currently in.

STANDING, WALKING, SITTING:  This was a hard one. Mom had an escar on her foot caused in a Nursing Facility by neglect and fecal material draining into a bandage. We found it "by accident" while she was "recoupertating" from a hip "nailing" in a Long Term Care Facility where she was sent for rehab.

Nine months of daily care by me and my husband and being somewhat "confined" to a chair certainly did not help Mom's return to walking and rehab was twenty some odd days, once a day usually, and then it was "over and done". 

Yes, Mom progressed, but she needed more strengthening and as with most "advanced age individuals", she was not used to exercising, daily work was her exercise, she lost a lot of physical capacity and capability simply due to the long term of her medical challenges.

With younger people, there would have been long term, assigned rehab but because of Mom's age, the "rehab" was limited by the Insurance company, I'm sure, although this is not information they want to share or make known.

IN MANY WAYS, OUR SOCIETY INCAPACITATES THE OLDER POPULATION THROUGH WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE A FORM OF DISCRIMINATION -- they're older, they're less capable, they're less "value" and therefore not provided the same care and concern and recommendations given for younger, more capable individuals.


Ever had the ability to compare the orders given over a cross population of various age groups with the same or similar medical conditions?

There's no difference in this practice and the hidden agenda by many Insurance Companies, Hospitals and Medical professionals regarding "recommendations" and decisions concerning what "procedures" are "needed" by an individual varying due to age or perceived "condition".

END NOTE:  Keeping this entry shorter, I'll summarize with the advice to read, research and above all network with others in your immediate community and beyond.

GET TO KNOW LEWY. GET TO KNOW ALZY. GET TO KNOW PARK -- these are short "nicknames" for three devastating forms of Dementia:  Lewy Body Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.


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