Hospital-induced delirium, the sudden disruption of consciousness and cognition marked by vivid hallucinations and an inability to focus, affects 7 million Americans annually. Once triggered, it can persist for months. The good news is the 40% of delirium cases are preventable. The bad news is that the nature of modern hospital care with large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics combined with a busy, noisy brightly lit environment where sleep is constantly disrupted amid frequent staff change can trigger an episode.
Aging Parents Dance Cards are a deck of the 20 cards designed for anyone involved in the care of an older adult. Each card is an aphorism I created on a topic, issue, or situation common to the caregiving experience. They are my wisdom cards.
Cards on unknown or unappreciated “rules” about home, families, siblings, and driving help decode the underlying agenda of older adults and its profound impact on their perspective, behavior and priorities.
Cards on magical thinking, secrets, and dilemmas make a compelling argument for resetting expectations in line with reality.
Cards on reframing control, open questions and facilitating last stories provide prompts and strategies for establishing and sustaining rapport.
Indeed, why don’t we? This article by Dr. Richard Lindsey discusses how he enlisted help from Virginia’s college and university students to invent an app or product to improve the health of caregivers…This is the kind of intergenerational creativity we need to help ease the burden for everyone…
Technology is rewriting yet another chapter in the book on death. In addition to forestalling physical death with machines that can breath for us when are efforts fail, pump blood when our hearts gives out or need repair, or float our brains in a medically induced coma to buy time to neurologically regroup, it is now making it possible to for all of us to have a digital afterlife that goes beyond a retrospective memorial of who we were.
We are talking about chatbots created from our personal data including emails, texts, and tweets that is then fed into artificial neural networks that have the ability to model brains and process new information. The end product is that we become a digital version of our physically departed selves.
This is a fascinating innovation in the physical design of a nursing home. Forget the clinical model of mini-hospitals and consider bringing the outside inside with a neighborhood look and feel. How comforting to have a front porch with your accommodations, a softening of the harsh decor of skilled nursing spaces. While you can’t unwind the need for a higher level of care, you can choose to have physical aspects of that care honor your need for community and familiar surrounding…
I work in an assisted living community, and this is one of the best books I’ve seen for adult children struggling to engage with their aging parents in discussing the difficult life transitions they’re facing, from needing more help in the home, giving up driving, or having to move into senior housing or assisted living, among other issues.
I give many copies away and recommend it frequently. One of my clients, after reading the book, told me that it helped her understand her parents’ perspective and what they were going through much better, and gave her strategies for helping the whole family cope with what was going on in their lives. It’s difficult for parents to stop being parents, and for adult children to have to become the decision makers and assume control.