Senior Life Since 2005
No-regret decisions at home, assisted living, hospitals and nursing homes
2425 Clover Street, Rochester, NY 14618
585-424-2424


ARTICLES & ANSWERS

Senior Life and Jennifer Meagher RN are featured on the WHEC News 10 website: www.WHEC.com. Jennifer answers questions from people like you and writes an article as well. She’s been writing for News 10 since 2007.

The most common questions asked of Senior Life are about life planning; options, costs and decisions. These letters and articles outline some of the considerations. Need more information? Book a consultation for complete information for your situation.

DEMENTIA

  DEMENTIA: DIGNITY and SECONDARY CONCERNS
  DEMENTIA: A FRIEND’S DENIAL and WHY DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT
  WHEN DAYS AND NIGHTS ARE CONFUSED
  DRIVING WITH DEMENTIA
 

LIFE PLANNNING

  DECISIONS and FINANCES
  STAYING HOME
  MOVING
  MEDICAID
     

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

  PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE MOM AND GUILT ARTICLE
  CRITICAL MOTHERS AND LAZY SIBLINGS
  PERSONALITY DISORDER AND BAD PARENT VENGEANCE
  CRITICAL BROTHERS AND LONG DISTANCE FAMILIES
  SPLITTING UP PARENT’S VALUABLES
   

DEMENTIA: DIGNITY and SECONDARY CONCERNS

This month we are discussing dementia, a condition that affects over 5 million Americans. It is believed if everyone were tested the number would be 2-3 times higher.

Dear Jennifer,
My father has dementia. We went to a specialist and he said he’s in the very early stage. I am writing to vent. I am over the top mad that if anyone knows he has dementia or is with him on a forgetful day, they treat him like something less and talk to him in an entirely different condescending voice. I hate it. I took him to an emergency care clinic last week. I was worried about an increase in forgetfulness. The nurse that we talked to first, took “the tone” with me, as if I were incapable of reason, and said, “He’s got dementia, what do you expect?” It was all I could do to hold it together. It turned out he had a urinary tract infection and once he got the antibiotic he was a lot better again. People need to learn about dementia, especially professionals.
I hope you print this, and please leave me anonymous.
No Name.



Dear Loving Daughter,
I am familiar with “the tone” you describe and it’s like fingernails on a chalk board for me. I am also familiar with the “what do you expect” attitude. I would recommend two things:

1. Write a letter to the director of the clinic voicing your concerns.
2. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association 585-760-5401 and suggest they contact the clinic to offer a training program.

Your attention to your father and his symptoms is to be commended. All of us would do well to learn as much as possible about our loved one’s conditions to be their advocate. Perhaps you might consider becoming an Alzheimer’s Advocate, or part of the “Train the Trainers Program.” Well done.

Thanks for writing in.
Warmly,
Jennifer

MEMORY, MOOD, MENTAL HEALTH AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
All three of these situations interact with each other and can be the culprit for confusion. If your loved one is increasingly confused over the course of a week, look for something besides dementia. Here are common secondary factors to consider:

  Anxiety – anxiety makes it difficult for new information to “stick.”
  Depression – watch for changes in appetite, sleep, decreased humor and increased irritability.
  Infection – the most common culprit is urinary tract infections which are more common in women, but do occur in men, particularly if he has an enlarged prostate.
  Poor oxygenation – discuss this with the doctor if there is any lung / breathing concerns or if your loved one snores which is associated decreased oxygenation.
  Unresolved pain - (older adults may perceive pain differently…. If there are painful conditions such as significant arthritis or spinal difficulties, talk to the doctor about trying Tylenol twice a day for a couple weeks to see if it helps.
  Sleep deprivation - The most common cause of poor sleep is discomforts. Next is waking to use the bathroom and having trouble falling back to sleep.

People who have psychiatric difficulties are often skilled at keeping their symptoms private. If the person develops dementia, s/he may lose the skill of “covering” their symptoms, and they may become obvious. If you have concerns, make an appointment with a dementia specialist to sort it all out and ensure correct treatment.


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2425 Clover Street Rochester NY 14618
info@seniorlifegcm.com
585.424.2424