Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer’s, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family in Whippany. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia.
Alzheimer's Care: Understanding Memory Loss
Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Whippany. Just thinking that as the days slip by your aging loved one will soon become more and more distant. This can be very depressing and an emotional time for most family caregivers. Besides the common emotion of depression, most family members often feel angry, frustrated, and even at a loss for words.
Preparing for Alzheimer's Care
Working as a home health aide with mentally ill patients requires a special sensitivity to the needs of the mentally challenged. Too often, people tend to think of the mentally challenged as being somehow inferior and as such, they tend to talk down to them. However, what the mentally ill really need is what anyone else needs - they need someone who will take them seriously and make sure their needs are met while giving them as much freedom as possible.
Just What Is Mental Illness?
Before we can begin to discuss how to work effectively with mentally ill home care patients, it's important to understand what mental illness actually means. Let's start with the most basic definition and then go into a more detailed explanation. At its most basic, mental illness means that someone is incapable of functioning independently in society due to some kind of problems with how they experience the world emotionally. Exactly how this manifests itself and what the issues are do require additional explanation however.
Some indicators that a person may be mentally challenged include:
- Inability to Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships - Many mentally ill people find it difficult or impossible to create healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Lack of Impulse Control - Another common problem for mentally challenged individuals is a lack of impulse control. Many mentally challenged individuals will for example do things in public or even in private that mentally sound people won't do (i.e. scream out loud at no one in particular, cause damage, public urination, etc.).
- Inability to Tolerate Anxiety and Frustration - We all deal with anxiety and frustration on a daily basis. However, those who are mentally challenged often find that they cannot handle any (or very little) anxiety and or frustration in daily life.
- Inability to Respect Others - Finally, many mentally ill people find it difficult to respect others, in terms of private space and or in terms of regular verbal abuse.
Your mentally challenged patients may also experience changes in behavior which are of a positive nature. Thus, it's important to note when and if such changes occur and to note changes in personality, either for the good or the bad.
While you should note environmental factors surrounding such changes in behavior, it's important not to draw conclusions on your own as to what precipitated these changes. Instead, you should note only the facts and allow mental health professionals to make such diagnoses.
Making Sure Patients are Cared For
It's important as a home health care worker working with mentally ill individuals to make sure that they are complying with their treatment regimen. This means for example that you need to ensure that the person is taking their medication on time and in the correct doses.
You must also watch carefully to ensure that dangerous behaviors do not put your patients in harm's way. When danger does present itself, you should call 911 to get emergency workers to help deal with the problems rather than attempting to deal with it on your own. For example, if your mentally challenged patient overdoses on sleeping pills, you should call 911 immediately rather than try to induce vomiting on your own.
Provide Patients with a Path to Recovery
Finally, your role as a home health care worker is to facilitate the patient's path to recovery. This means that you work with them to ensure that they will have the right kind of support to deal with their problems and that you help to keep the family involved as well in the recovery of the mentally challenged patient that you work with as a home health care worker.
How to Find the Best Live in Personal Care Agencies in Whippany,Morris County?
I thought we had a contract, reverse parenting so to speak. I look after you and you look after me when the time comes for reciprocation. For some of you I'm sure it would be considered a selfish expectation of my children. I don't think so; because it is a contract we formed when each of them was born. Their precious little lives belonged to me; their fate in my hands until they reached adulthood and could fend for themselves.
When I held them in my arms, our silent contract and bond was forged. We became dependent on one another, in my mind our lives would be forever intertwined. I looked after them at the most vulnerable parts of their lives and at some point I trusted they would do the same for me, their protector, their confidante, loving friend and mother. I thought we had a contract.
My children were my life. I took care of them and answered their every need. How could I deny them? Being a parent can be a thankless job. When they were hurt, I was there to render my love, attention and an occasional trip to the hospital. My dedication to them for their well-being never wavered. I thought we had a contract.
I take care of you my children until you can discern the world for yourselves and when I begin to age and my mortality becomes something that can no longer be ignored, my hope has been and is that you will honor our contract initiated at your birth.
The silent pact I made with my children has now been consummated. I find myself dependent on them, trusting their judgment and compassion as they did with me. They are now in control of my life, where I live, what I wear and even my finances. My mental state, despite my stroke was left intact without any effects on my speech, but only my will to walk, to be back in control of my life. My will to be me still prevails despite the living arrangements and choices my children have made for me.
I have to believe that I exist occasionally in thought as proven by the infrequent visits of my family and friends. There are many days that loneliness becomes a burden. I feel that I am slowly becoming only a memory not only to my family, but also to those who mattered to me most before my sequestration in this place. So, I wait. The time spent disconnected and suspended by emptiness gives one ample time to ponder life as it is and what it was.
I suppose the easy thing to do would be to give up, succumb to this dreadful existence. My children come see me when they can. I can no longer choose how frequently I see them, my family members or friends. I no longer have that choice.
The fact still remains, I want to go home. For living here for me is not living. I wish to discuss the terms of this contract, but as each day passes it does not appear a negotiation is possible. My children seem oblivious to my plight.
They are comfortable with the obligatory visitations on those special days of the year when family is supposed to draw near. So, I wait and fill my empty moments with memories as a little of myself is given up to the scheduled daily tasks of the staff. I am slowly coming to terms with my situation because it's binding and for me, one sided. I thought we had a contract...