Silver linings. They can be hard to find in the midst of tragedy, loss and illness. But, they can be found – even in the case of Robin Williams’ death. Upon hearing the news of his suicide, millions of people asked a collective, “Why?” Then, the conversation started online, on TV, on the radio – in our homes, offices and just about every meeting place. Robin Williams’ death has brought the diseases of depression and Parkinson’s back into public consciousness. His death has also brought to light a not-so-familiar condition called Dementia with Lewy bodies.
At Cerna Home Care, we strive to create an environment that brings our clients peace and tranquility. For people with dementia and Alzheimer’s tranquility can, at times, be tough to attain. It is especially important to determine what triggers discontent and then take measures, sometimes quite creative measures, to alleviate it.
Every case Cerna assesses is quite different because no two people are alike. While people suffer from the same disease, like Alzheimer’s, unique approaches to care are required based on the particular person. When doctors and caregivers have a good understanding of a diagnosis and a person’s symptoms, a custom care plan can be implemented. But, how do you approach a care plan for symptoms when the disease or cause of the impairment is a mystery?
At Cerna, every day with our clients, who we consider to be like friends and family, offers learning opportunities to share with others. Cerna caregivers are not just people hired to “watch” an aging person with specific needs related to a disease like Alzheimer’s – they are focused on cognitive stimulation, making a personal connection, engaging in physical activity and ensuring their friend feels as comfortable as possible. A typical day requires patience, empathy and creative problem solving.
The deadline to file your 2013 income taxes is just weeks away. If you pay for an elderly family member’s in home care, medical expenses, medications and daily living expenses you may be eligible for some federal tax breaks – you may even be able to claim your parent as a dependent.
Cathy Greenblat is on a quest – a quest to change the imagery of aging, illness and dying.
In most instances where people look away, Cathy Greenblat seeks to make approachable the dignity, beauty, delight, solemnness – and yes, sometimes sadness of the aged, the infirm, and those in the terminal stages of life through her photography.
In 2004, she focused her lens on Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s care in the US in her book titled “Alive with Alzheimer’s.” The title itself speaks volumes; people living with Alzheimer’s are just that – alive. While the thieving effects of the disease are devastating, people suffering from Alzheimer’s can still laugh, sing, dance and experience awakenings triggered by music, caring people, animals, imagery and more. The book’s description notes, “Her images, interviews, and observations attest to the possibility of their being “alive” with Alzheimer’s far beyond the expectations of the general public and even of many physicians with long experience with the disease.”
Cathy’s vision will help family members, friends and caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s understand targeted and person-centered care can harvest genuine and appropriate joyful responses.
Cerna’s Staff uses many different exercises and programs to invoke new cognitive activity with our clients – also including interaction with music for their positive effects. Find out more HERE.
Visit www.LoveLossAndLaughter.com to see Cathy Greenblat’s latest work.