Prior to Norm’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, he was a pilot. With over 15,000 flight hours it’s fair to say that Norm spent a good bit of his life enjoying a unique perspective on the world.
The evidence of Norm’s slide into dementia was like that of many other people. His memory loss became more and more profound and before long Norm seemed nothing like the vibrant young man he had been. His children were the first to realize that Norm needed help – Norm’s wife Gloria remained in denial for quite a while.
They called Home Instead Senior Care to ask what our experience with caring for individuals with Alzheimer's entailed. We asked lots of questions, listened carefully to both what they said and what they didn’t say, and ultimately suggested a Care Consultation.
During our meeting with the family, it was decided that Norm needed help at night more so than during the day. His confusion seemed to spike during the night time hours so we assigned Lucy, a CAREGiver with abundant Alzheimer's care experience – and a member of one of our first Alzheimer’s Care Training Classes – to be his overnight CAREGiver.
The most immediate change that the family noticed was that Gloria was now having a better opportunity to sleep at night, conserving the energy she would need while assisting Norm during the day. Next, the family noticed that Lucy was spending time with Norm and Gloria making notes about his past in a journal. They discussed and documented his upbringing, his education, his marriage to Gloria, the birth of their children and so much more.
Before long, the family noticed that Lucy was using information from Norm’s past to influence his behavior. They spent a great deal of time looking at books about airplanes and talking about his adventures as a pilot in Alaska. She prepared his meals based on the recipes he enjoyed as a young man. They created a whole new atmosphere in the home and soon, Gloria was following Lucy’s lead in how she interacted with Norm.
Naturally, Norm still suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, but his family – with Lucy’s help – has discovered a whole new way to enjoy their time with their father, husband, and grandfather. Just as Norm’s disease continues to evolve, so does Lucy’s care for Norm.
At Home Instead Senior Care we care about positive outcomes for our clients. We believe that relationships are every bit as important as tasks. We know that seniors demand and deserve great care that encompasses the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of the client. That’s why we say that to us, it’s personal.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.