Hello. This is The Daily Bone and I'm your happy doggie reporter Chester L. W. Spaniel.
Another one of ghostwriter's dear little old people at the nursing home died on Thanksgiving Day. He was someone that everybody loved very much. That makes five deaths in the last month and a half! People always ask ghostwriter how she deals with the sadness of things like that. How can she deal with people who have Alzhiemer's disease, who have forgotten practically everything: how to talk, how to eat, how to walk, who don't recognize their families, and cannot remember what you just said two minutes ago. They don't know where they are and don't recognize anyone around them. Indeed this is a terrible disease. Ghostwriter sometimes calls it the eternal waiting room of purgatory. There is a key to providing care to people like that. You must be able look at the person, and imagine him as how he used to be, and give respect and honor to that. It helps to have photos or family stories about his life and what he did and knew and loved. Also, you must be aware that even though it might seem that this person has absolutely nothing left in his brain, there are still old memories in there, if you can just find the right trigger.
Last night the nursing home had a little ceremony for the lighting of the Christmas lights and decorations outside the home. The staff crowded all of the residents into the rooms where the lights could best be viewed so that everyone could watch. One of the ladies who has advanced Alzheimer's disease, becomes very agitated when lots of people and commotion are around her. So ghostwriter put her in the back of the room where she could easily back out the door if she became too upset. They played some old Christmas songs—the kind that still have Jesus in them, that these days, the politically correct crowd has completely sucked out of the holiday—and everyone sang along. The lady heard the songs and began singing along too. She knew all the words of all the verses of these songs, even though she could not remember what she was just told a minute ago. It was like a miracle!
|Oh come, oh come, Emanuel!|
Ghostwriter says this is the kind of thing that has kept her working in long term care since 1981: looking for and finding these little miracles. My esteemed colleague Joseph (Joey dog) Spaniel and I are good subjects for discussion too. Ghostwriter will sit down with a group of people while they're eating a meal and show them pictures of me and Joey dog, then ask if they ever had pets. You would be surprised what pleasant memories that brings up. People with poor appetites will brighten up and eat more if there are good memories to talk about. We doggies are glad we can help!
You can help too! Please visit your local nursing home!