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Communication 101

As a follow up to the December newsletter where I spoke of the challenges of Family/Professional  caregiver interaction,  I have a story to tell you which represents perhaps the flip side to that coin. After Anita brought Fred home from the hospital, she started to work with a home health aide, Naomi, who had begun a ten hour a day schedule. Naomi had two days off, Wednesday and Thursday, during which Anita was convinced that she did not need any help. By Wednesday morning, Anita was wondering how she would get through the day, when a knock at the door brought her rescue, it was Naomi.  She had taken two busses and walked a half mile to get there, since Anita usually picked her up during her work days. Anita was thrilled, but perplexed, she asked Naomi what she was doing there on her day off and Naomi replied “I knew that although you would never ask, you needed me her e today”.  I think communication, spoken and otherwise, is still alive and well in some parts of the land.

A few more Gimmicks and Gambits:

I am a caregiver for my mom who had a stroke.  It is very disconcerting to her that she drools without realizing it and cannot seem to be able to remember to swallow.  In addition to no longer being able to speak, this problem makes her uncomfortable around others.   We have discovered that if she chews on a small piece of gum, she automatically remembers to swallow. Fortunately she has no trouble with swallowing so there is no choking hazard.  It has at least helped her to cope with one of many challenges she has because of her stroke.  Now she knows that with the gum she is not drooling.  Hope this can help others. 

 L. A.

I take care of my mom full-time. She has Multiple System Atrophy and is just beginning to "see" things - usually things hidden in her briefs when I take her to the bathroom - but also when she's sitting in her lift chair (which she does all day except for her nap and bedtime). Usually she sees "moths" - purple and black moths. The doctor says this is more than likely attributed to her brain stem shrinkage and not to dementia; however, I used to tell her there were no moths. One day she told me I was lying. Ever since then I go along with the moths and she is very happy. Pick your battles is the lesson here!



Gary Barg

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