KATYA’S BLOG

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 SUGAR FIX

Jennifer is concerned. “I can’t get mom to eat anymore. She says she’s not hungry.” Commonly the person with dementia losses their ability to taste the food, and this is often preceded by loss of smell. During normal aging, some of us lose our thirst, sometimes hunger too. Jennifer’s mom might be experiencing this, or it could be she has forgotten what food is or the procedure

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EARLIEST SIGN

“Lately, my husband Jim has been acting strangely and making some bad decisions. He recently bought another lawnmower exactly like the one we have; it still works. When I asked why and pointed out it was a waste of money, he got angry, shouting back, “It’s a backup!” He walks the dog every morning, and today didn’t use his leash. Sparky got lost, and we didn’t find

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DOWN UNDER

This particular topic is seldom featured in the literature on dementia, and I think it should be. It’s about toileting and hygiene and primarily about the ladies. I worked as a home caregiver for a time, and in the beginning, one of the hardest aspects of care was the toileting of the person who could no longer do this for themselves. I’ve always been hypersensitive to smells,

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CARING FOR THE NOT SO LOVED ONE

Ann grew up with an alcoholic father. He beat her mother and began abusing her when she was twelve years old, and it continued until she left home at sixteen. She’s now 55, her mother recently passed away, and after several years of therapy, she has been trying to develop a relationship with her 85-year-old father. He has Alzheimer’s, and Ann moved in with him to take

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MOM HAS A BOYFRIEND

Elaine had Alzheimer’s and was in the memory care of the facility where I held my weekly picture communication workshops. Elaine thought she was a teenager and had forgotten she was married with two grown children. She had a crush on one of the other residents and called him her “boyfriend.” Elaine and her boyfriend would often hold hands and walk the hallways giggling and whispering to

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TOURISTS WITH DEMENTIA

Most people in earlier stages of dementia are usually still quite functional and many like to travel. It’s not just an “old person” condition anymore; early-onset dementia is affecting thousands of younger people in their 30’s and 40’s and invariably tourism becomes affected. Unfortunately, the tourism industry is unprepared for the problems a tourist with dementia might experience especially if they are traveling alone or in a

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