Saturday, May 4, 2013

Grandpa, it's me, stop doing that

There's no easy answer to the question:

What can be done about the elderly demented folks who like to wander, escape or who have severe behavioral symptoms associated with dementia (aggressiveness, episodes of anger, psychosis, hallucinations, inappropriateness-walking around nude, urinating or defecating in public, masterbating in front of others, etc.)?

Family members can take turns watching 24/7 but most scattered families don't have the ability to do this.

Families can hire 24/7 care (basically sitters) at a cost of anywhere from $10/hour (for those hired privately) to over $20/hour (for those hired through a licensed, bonded company) for a total cost of approximately $7000-$14,000/month or they can place their demented loved one in an ALF (that accepts demented patients) or a Nursing Home.

The use of physical restraints (posey vests, etc.) by facilities is no longer acceptable, and if used will generate an ACHA evaluation, and the use of chemical restraints (sedative medications, anti-anxiety medications, anti-psychotic medications) is associated with adverse events (falls, hypotension, increased mortality, decreased cognition) and if/when used by facilities will often lead to the appearance of a malpractice attorney representing the family of the "victim," if there's an adverse event.

It's all actually quite depressing.

Dementia runs in my family. I'm hoping that if/when I become demented I will keep my social graces and behave so I can stay at home and not be a burden to my family.

In the old days, elderly family members were taken care of by the daughter or the daughter-in-law.

With more women working, and smaller families in general, this often is no longer an option.

I do think we need to get back to multi-generations living in the same home again. I know this goes against the American Dream of leaving home and starting your own life but no-one can usually re-orient a demented older person acting out better than a family member.

Also, often one or two of the  family members may be having a problem finding gainful employment.

Splitting up the $168,000 it takes to hire 24/7 care through a licensed company isn't too bad of an income.

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