Friday, April 12, 2024

ISOLATION: More help needed

| August 21, 2020 1:00 AM

Anyone who has cared for a person with dementia knows isolation can exacerbate the disease. One of the biggest challenges in taking care of dementia patients, at home or in facilities, is finding ways to keep them engaged and active. Yet the first thing many LTC facilities did when the coronavirus hit was close down to visitors, stop activities and isolate residents.

This was done to keep them safe, but from what? Dementia is killing them slowly every day. Many will take offense to that statement, but many will agree. This is the unfortunate truth about dementia, like it or not. A family member should not be treated any differently than the staff, and be subject to the same screening and testing, and then allowed to help with their care, just as they did before.

Window visits are not “visits” at all if you have a nonverbal patient. Very soon the weather will change, winter will set in and window visits will stop. Then what?

Jan Noyes’s My Turn (Coeur d’Alene Press, Aug. 14) idea of cards, letters, etc., to lesson the loneliness and depression for these folks is a nice idea. My 8-year-old granddaughters did this back in April. However, this doesn’t help a late stage dementia patient. Different situations require different solutions.

While the care my husband receives in his facility is not in question, and the hugs I know he gets from his caregivers are appreciated, I want my hugs too. Time is running out for many of us. We need a solution NOW.


Caregivers for Compromise