Thursday, April 19, 2012

Discussing Dementia Conference - Alzheimer Society of Lanark County

It was my pleasure both to attend, and speak at this conference in Almonte.

It was well-attended, with 80 people registered.
It is amazing the energy you get from learning about health issues, discussing concerns with professionals.

It was sponsored by the Mills Community Home Support,  and the Alzheimer Society of Lanark County, as well as Kingsway Arms in Carleton Place, and Hands on Healing.

Deborah Steele [RN BScN CPMHN(C) GNC(C)],

Psychogeriatric Resource Consultant for Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, spoke on the facets of dementia. She works out of Brockville, and I have heard her speak several times. I took a course with her on Gentle Persuasive Approaches in Dementia Care.

First Link
Robin Hull, of the Alzheimer Society, spoke on communication tips with loved ones with dementia. The Alzheimer Society has a marvellous on-line resource: Talking to Alzheimer's: Simple Ways to Connect, as well as their fabulous First Link program, which connects care recipient, caregivers and resources.

It is important to support families with dementia.
No thanks, we're fine: Supporting families living with dementia.  Watch this compelling video

Kim Schryburt-Brown spoke about keeping a home safe, bringing in the impact of visual impairments to safely navigating one's home, when navigating with dementia.
She discussed rummaging, when a dementia client goes through cupboards, toolboxes, drawers, etc.
There is a difference between illusions (misidentification of objects, difficulties navigating in the environment) and hallucinations (perceiving things that are not actually happening). In my case, my father had dementia from a brain tumour. He had hallucinations from his drugs.
She also provided several resources:

Patrick Marshall, with Elizabeth Bruyere, spoke about looking after oneself while being a caregiver. Caregiver Compassion, meaning self-respect on the part of caregivers for themselves. Put on the oxygen mask first, before looking after loved ones! He spoke of guilt, and that feeling all caregivers have of not doing enough, or not doing the right thing.

The last speaker, myself, I spoke about taking care of oneself, with specific caregiver tips for managing life as a caregiver.
"It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution." ~Oscar Wilde

I spoke about ways and means to care for yourself.
I also gave some tips on knowing the difference between dementia and delirium, as well as depression. These are not mutually exclusive.

“I learned so much about myself and about others. Things I hadn't realized when I was nursing.”- Kay Devlin, Celebration of a life worth living

You have to realize it's not the end of your life; it's a part of it.”
“I think these have been the best 5 years of my life!”
Sometimes he is 'very much himself', she tells me about her roommate, hubby with Alzheimer's Disease! 

It is important to find positive things to do: I recommend a Life Review, as a positive activity with ailing loved one - focus on one's life, not this time of life.
In my late father's case, he was in the ER while doctors failed to diagnose delirium, since the dementia masked its symptoms. He also was depressed, and was never able to speak to a social worker. He was in the ER during my late mother's funeral, while my brother cared for him. They were tough times for all, which could have been prevented by more information.

My display
When I volunteer in LTC, I take my dancing duck!
I also recommend keeping a log of visitors, Rx, and journal your feelings.

I donated a book as a door prize,
which Mel won.

Dementia Stages See if a Doctor should be Consulted about Alzheimer's. Take this Test…

1 comment:

CalogeroMiraHealth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.