Posted on March 28, 2009 - by Nurse Virginia
Excerpt from: Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance
My mother’s brother, Ed, once took a bicycle trip across the country. He traveled coast to coast, taking odd jobs to pay his expenses. When he was in his late seventies, his wife died. Uncle Ed was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and my mother became his legal guardian.
When Uncle Ed needed an assisted-living facility, mother wrote a short biography of his life and his lifelong interest in cycling. She always posted that biography in his room, where ever he was living. She also provided him with a bicycle.
As Uncle Ed’s disease progressed, he went from assisted living to total care. But during his journey through Alzheimer’s disease, his passion for cycling was supported by an informed staff. He began with independent biking around the neighborhood to having a nursing assistant accompany him on another bike, and finally he had a stationary bike in his room with a nursing assistant’s support.
By letting the staff know how important that exercise was to Uncle Ed, we were able to empower the staff and temporarily give back to Uncle Ed the life he was forgetting.
Instead of a life only of being kept clean, dry, fed, and visitor ready, the knowledge of his interest created conversation and encouraged the staff to think creatively of ways to enable him to continue his interest until his death.
Really get to know the person you are taking care of – remember my Uncle Ed.
Book excerpt from:
Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance
by Virginia Garberding with Cecil Murphey
available @ Christianbooks.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com
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