Viewing posts from: December 2014

Chapter 8 – Jamie’s Journey

Posted on: December 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Note: In 2007, Jamie Wilson Headley (founder and CEO of Dementia Services Group) began the complicated process of helping her once-independent mother adjust to life with dementia.
These are the challenges that one woman faced, but although Jamie's Journey is deeply personal, it is also universal. We hope that her trials and triumphs will shed light on the emotional and logistical issues that come with caring someone with dementia.
Now that we had Mom moved in, I needed to attend to the other details of getting her life set up in Indy.  I needed to find her doctors, make sure her legal documents were in order and hopefully find some ways to help her integrate into her new life.  The problem was I really had no idea how to do any of that.  But life has a funny way of putting what you need in front of you when you need it.
The key is not tripping over it or ignoring it.   I decided to try and get Mom some therapy for the depression, anxiety and mood swings.  She was really struggling and I thought maybe this would help.  Funny, it didn’t occur to me at the time that I was ALSO really struggling and could have benefited from some therapy or help as well.  I found a therapist for her and set up a few appointments.  Mom had been a recovering alcoholic since I was five. She understood the value of therapy and working through issues, so this seemed like a good option.
Mom seemed to enjoy the therapy sessions, but the problem was her short term memory was shot.  She couldn’t remember the session a few hours after she got back to her apartment.  Most therapy operates under the premise of “doing the work” and building on each session towards growth, healing, whatever.  That doesn’t work if you can’t “do the work” because you don’t remember the session!  I quickly realized this was a waste of time, as did the therapist.  However, Mom seemed to at least enjoy the sessions and having someone “neutral” to talk to so I continued them for a few more months.  I was disappointed though – we were no closer to making this better.
Think positive. I worry about forgetting. Have headaches. I am very blessed – be grateful. Banish the fear! Help others. Do exercises. Can do! I always have so…just keep it up. I am OK but must work at it and have fun – help others.  Excerpt from Mom’s journal
 

Chapter 7 – Jamie’s Journey

Posted on: December 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Note: In 2007, Jamie Wilson Headley (founder and CEO of Dementia Services Group) began the complicated process of helping her once-independent mother adjust to life with dementia.
These are the challenges that one woman faced, but although Jamie's Journey is deeply personal, it is also universal. We hope that her trials and triumphs will shed light on the emotional and logistical issues that come with caring someone with dementia.
The move itself went smoothly.  Mom loved her balcony and she kind of just hung out while we got pictures hung, furniture arranged and clothes put away.   I decided that I would spend the first two nights with her to ensure she got adjusted.  Mom was accustomed to moving from when she was a child so I assumed this move would be pretty easy.  Of course, all the times that Mom moved in the past her memory was intact. I was worried about her remembering how to get to the dinning room and back to her room.  This facility was huge and my brother and I got lost trying to get from the moving van to her new apartment.  But by that time I had figured out that her long term memory was still good, so after enough repetition those types of things would become part of her long term memory and she would retain them.  And after a few days she was able to learn her way around and remember how to get back to her apartment.
But her short term memory wasn’t the only issue.  

4 Tips for Happy Holidays in Any Setting

Posted on: December 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

During the holidays, most of us want to be as close to our families as possible. If your loved one with dementia resides in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it seems natural to bring them back home for your holiday celebrations. However, this may not always go according to plan. I learned this the hard way.  



Jamie's Journey

In 2007, Jamie Wilson (founder and CEO of Dementia Services Group) began the complicated process of helping her once-independent mother adjust to life with dementia.

Jamie's Journey is deeply personal, but also universal. We hope that her trials and triumphs will shed light on the emotional and logistical issues that come with caring for someone with dementia.

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