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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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!
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 26 Nov 08 12:52
Lisa Harris (lrph) Thu 27 Nov 08 10:28
Excellent news. Thanks for posting.
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