As indicated previously, we will be discussing the decision and transition from home-care to long-term care, for a loved a one with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia. For those families that opted to provide personal care, there will most-likely come a time when you and your family are no longer able to provide the level of health care and security your loved one needs. The decision to move a family member into a health care facility is a tough one. Unfortunately, many people wait too long to make the decision, resulting in an elopement, accident or worse. Planning for the move in advance...
In a previous blog, “Dementia Checklist for the Holidays”, we discussed the symptoms to look for and steps to take if one suspected an older relative or friend of showing signs of dementia/Alzheimer. We pointed out that family gatherings are a good opportunity to check on the health and wellbeing of other relatives. Concerns can be discussed, as well as plans of action. If, after a diagnosis has shown that indeed, the loved one has developed Alzheimer’s disease, then they, along with a spouse and/or other family members should decide on a care plan.
For most people, their first instinct is...
It is the middle of December and a vast majority of us are still trying to find the perfect gifts for those on our holiday shopping list. We all have those people in our lives whom are "hard to buy for," for whatever reason. Older adults can be more challenging in general for the simple fact they they already have everything they want and claim to not need anything. For those with Alzheimer's, it can seem more difficult and even confusing as to what to get them. However, in reality, the best gift options are practical items that can be...
Health Care Reform is not a new idea. Some facet of health care has always been at the center of change long before modern politicians used it as a platform to win elections. Today’s proposed governmental changes to health care have most dazed and confused. Exactly who the reform will help is unclear.In the history of health care, there is one woman who did more to improve our health care system than any other. So much so that she is known as the “inventor of modern nursing”. That woman was Florence Nightingale. Born May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy, Nightingale brought public health to the forefront and instigated reform up until she died on August 13th, 1910 in London England.
“I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”- Florence Nightingale
Nightingale took action in the implementation of public health policies and administration which attributed to lowering the death rate among soldiers during the Crimean War (1853–56) by two-thirds. She didn’t wait for others, she recognized horrible conditions and took action by providing direct care, educating, raising money and creating awareness. After the war, she continued to focus her efforts on improving military hospitals and the care they provided. From there, she turned her attention to improving sanitation and overall public care.
“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed
germinates and roots itself.”–Florence Nightingale
What is most striking about Nightingale was her selfless attitude, disregard for those who don’t contribute, shunning of her wealthy family and her tenacity to contribute effectively by improving the conditions of the world during a period of history where women were not viewed as worthy influencers. Nightingale did not live out her mission for the good of women’s liberation, or to be awarded medals of honor, or to go down in history books. Her mission was that of a spiritual kind, to do the right thing by correcting obvious wrongs of the world where most others were overwhelmed with the challenge. She knew that even the smallest of efforts could eventually make up sweeping reform.
“It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm.” - Florence Nightingale, 1859
As Nurse Appreciation Week draws to an end, it important to reflect on the pioneer of this most respected and necessary profession. Over a hundred years later, Nightingale still reminds us that effective health care reform is more about the mission rather than about the dollar. Her life is a fascinating story. If there is one law to include in health care reform today, it should mandate that all policy makers read her biography. How great it would be if a hundred years from now, the improvements from this reform would be so effective it would be historical.