Until Jim’s dementia diagnosis 13 years ago, I had never lived with anyone who had dementia or serious memory problems. I had no knowledge of the disease and never imagined that it would be something that would impact my life. But as the years progressed after Jim’s original diagnosis, he started having real problems negotiating his daily routine. I realized I better get educated.
I obtained lots of information from internet sites and articles in magazines and newspapers, but found that I’ve picked up some of the most valuable information by simply watching the professionals as they cared for Jim. They are on the front lines every day, and they have the inside scoop on the most effective, efficient ways to get the job done.
I learned this last year when Jim had a 17-day stay in the hospital. As you can imagine, I had a lot of time to get to know the nurses and watch them work. One of the first things I picked up on was the crushing pills. It was almost impossible to get Jim to swallow pills and he was only taking about half his medicine. At the hospital they crushed 100 percent of the pills given to Jim. Now that’s what I do too. We crush them in healthy treats like unsweetened, organic applesauce or a combo Amasai/coconut milk/berry shake. (Amasai is a cultured dairy product packed with protein, healthy fats, and powerful probiotics.) Taking pills is no longer an issue.
The nurses also had Jim’s complexion looking fantastic – always hydrated with few visible wrinkles. They did this with a product called Critic-Aid Clear. It is inexpensive and quite the beauty secret! I expanded Jim’s skin care regime to include facial serums that help mature skin with ingredients like retinol and antioxidants. One added tip I discovered was that using a moisturizer before the serum improves the penetration and effectiveness of the serum – a trick that works for everyone!
Here’s Jim an hour after his release from the hospital – with fantastic looking skin thanks to the excellent nursing care he received!
Nurses also dress patients very efficiently. Their systematic approach looked like it had been designed by an industrial engineer. They taught me to think about how things could be done in combination. For example, underwear and slacks are put on as a unit – a great time saver when you are rushed.
Paying close attention to how nursing staff and medical technicians do their job has yielded a wealth of knowledge. They spend their lives caring for others and know the “best practices”. And with what we pay for medical care today, the education is a nice added bonus.