inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #126 of 135: Lauren Kessler (laurenkessler) Wed 14 Nov 07 17:43
    
And thanks to all of you.  It's been very interesting for me to hear
about your experiences and concerns.  Your questions have challenged me
and helped me make connections I had not made before.  Ah, the fine
art of conversation...even online.

If any of you, active convo partners and lurkers alike -- would like
to be on my "newsletter" mailing list, just go to my website,
www.laurenkessler.com, and click on Contact.  "Newsletter" is in quotes
because I don't have one and wouldn't dream of clogging up your email
boxes with stuff.  It's just that when something happens that might be
of interest to f.o.b.s (friends of the books), I send out a brief
announcement.  For example, the audiobook of Dancing with Rose just
came out.

I am going to stop in at this site once or twice a week for a little
while to see if anyone wants to continue the conversation.  So this is
not quite goodbye...Again, thanks, everyone.  Hope to meet some of you
in person on day.  --Lauren
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #127 of 135: Public persona (jmcarlin) Thu 15 Nov 07 13:55
    

We'd love you to become a permanent member of the Well community
and stop by from time-to-time to give us updates.
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #128 of 135: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 16 Nov 07 10:54
    

> going to stop in at this site once or twice a week for a little while

good! Because I wanted to gnaw on another issue...

You suggested that people might want to label their loved ones' dresser 
drawers to make it easier for the caregivers. I wanted to second that 
idea. I put signage on the dresser in my mom's room -- socks, underwear, 
sweaters, etc -- soon after she moved in. I also regularly emptied and 
tidied them to make it even easier on the caregivers. I also helped serve 
food and clear tables afterward. I played ball toss, I did all kinds of 
things for all the residents that otherwise would have been tasks the 
caregivers would have had to do.

I figured that whatever I did for everybody was also good for my mom. 
So if I could make five residents happier with a game of "bat the
balloon," that feeling of happiness would rub off on other residents.
Similarly, by lightening the caregivers' load, I've taken stress off
them, make them happier.

It seems to me that as a dementia resident loses certain kinds of
functionality, there's a heightening of something else. It's that ability
to ... um ... er ... well, to feel "vibes." 

Did you notice anything like that during your time as a caregiver at
Maplewood, Lauren? 
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #129 of 135: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 16 Nov 07 12:12
    
<< It seems to me that as a dementia resident loses certain kinds of
functionality, there's a heightening of something else. It's that
ability to ... um ... er ... well, to feel "vibes.">>

That's actually a great question/observation, Cynthia. 
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #130 of 135: Lauren Kessler (laurenkessler) Mon 19 Nov 07 08:28
    
Yes, absolutely.  I think that as pure cognition fades, something like
intuition (feeling the vibes) either moves to take its place or just
seems more evident because the screen or layer of cognition is missing.
 On bad days, this manifested as "anxiety is in the air" -- a sense
that one person's dis-ease spread through the neighborhood as if it
were a cough.  But, on the up-side,I could also see vibes at work when
I walked in bright and energized and somehow "spread" this without
actually doing anything.  The intuitive sense is, I think, what is
connecting the person with Alzheimer's to the family member -- long
after names and exact relationships and shared experiences are gone.

ANd EVERYONE note:  Cynthia is the Family Member from Heaven!! 
Seriously, if everyone visiting a relative could do just one of the
things she mentions during one weekly visit, it would improve the
quality of life (and care) at the facility.
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #131 of 135: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Mon 19 Nov 07 08:35
    
Wasn't there a thing a few years back where they showed tapes of
Reagan to Alzheimer's patients and they all identified him as lying?
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #132 of 135: Public persona (jmcarlin) Mon 19 Nov 07 11:34
    

<laurenkessler>, friends have said that a Down's syndrome person that they
know has that same, direct intuitive perception. I wonder if that mode of
perception is present in all of us but typically covered over by our
intellect?
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #133 of 135: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 26 Nov 08 11:44
    
"Dancing with Rose" has won both the 2008 Pacific Northwest Book
Award, and just recently, the 2008 Oregon Book Award.  Congratulations
to Lauren!
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #134 of 135: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 26 Nov 08 12:52
    

Wow!
  
inkwell.vue.311 : Lauren Kessler, "Dancing with Rose"
permalink #135 of 135: Lisa Harris (lrph) Thu 27 Nov 08 10:28
    
Excellent news. Thanks for posting.
  



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