KATYA’S BLOG

THE MIND PLAYS TRICKS

Take a look at the dots in the box and try and find the black one. Wow, what happened! Optical illusions show us we can’t believe everything we see? People with dementia often see something we don’t, but yet, do we actually see or perceive what others do? Our brain constructs our reality, and it unconsciously alters our perceptions of what’s there to meet our desires or

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

Frank was in his 18th year of Alzheimer’s and deteriorating fast. He was predominately non-verbal and only spoke a few words; he often just shouted unintelligible sounds. He needed assistance to eat, and he was losing weight so rapidly we figured the end must be nearing. I’d often visit at lunchtime to help him eat, and one day this is what happened. The kitchen staff placed the

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THE GERIATRIC HOSPITAL & MEMORY CLINIC

The Raul Blanco Cervantes geriatric hospital was originally the Tuberculous hospital and in 1989 when specialized hospitals where established, it converted to a teaching and research center for geriatrics. In 1992 under collaboration with the CCSS, a residency program was established with the School of Medicine of the University of Costa Rica. This hospital is a shining light among the National health care system hospitals in Costa

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FRIENDS FALLEN AWAY

We develop close friendships throughout our lives, and some of us are lucky enough to keep those friends our entire life. However, this is often not the case. Life never does what you expect it to do, and sometimes that best friend falls away. This 1970’s photo was sent from my friend, Serin; at one time, we were inseparable like close sisters. We were young, sexy single

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GHOSTS OF OUR PAST

They say the ghosts of our past eventually come back to haunt us. Those with dementia usually lose short term memory and begin to remember people and events from their past that were consciously forgotten long ago. Their ghosts often revisit mistaking a grown son for a long-deceased brother or husband or daughter as her mother; they resemble the younger version. They ask when their parents are

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Dery

Dery Dyer has been my close friend for over 35 years here in Costa Rica. Yesterday she passed away after a long struggle with severe medical conditions. I was able to see her recently and was about to visit again yesterday, but she died in the morning. For those who don’t know her, she was the owner of the Tico Times for 40 years, the only English

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I’M OK, I’M ALIVE

James had late-stage Alzheimer’s, and Mary had been his wife 48 years, the last seven of which James had resided in a facility. He wandered incessantly, mumbling to himself and avoiding eye contact. Mary visited every day but doubted James was even aware of her presence. Mary was hesitant to participate in our weekly picture communication workshop, thinking James wasn’t capable or be able to sit still

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