Working with  fully operational cognition, I am struck with the difficulties of transitioning from one job to another.  The last month between jobs at age 24 felt the same as this last month at 54.  There’s the anticipation of life changes as a result. There’s the fear of the sanity of the decision.  There’s the sadness at leaving dear clients and co-workers.  And there’s the “it’s almost here” that reaches way back to the pre-Christmas days of childhood. Each day holds a level of emotion that did not exist pre-decision.

In Alzheimer’s care we  protect the cognitively challenged from transitions as best we can.  We use therapeutic fibbing to buffer the pain of the big transitions.  We minimize chaos to smooth the way.  Quality care commits to providing continuity of care through the same worker, familiar routine, and careful preparation. Yet we still see the fall-out.

If I have such a response to change when I have the ability to rationalize, to reflect on memories, to self-adjust my response, and to remember the long-range goal; I can only surmise just how difficult it is for a person with memory loss.  This renews my commitment to be vigilant in   minimizing stressors as I coach  caregivers in the  necessary transitions for memory care.

Author: Cate
Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.

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