A retired psychologist with Alzheimer's disease addressed a group of health care workers to give them an inside look at life for a dementia patient.
"Hi, my name is Richard. I have Alzheimer's disease."
With those simple words, retired psychologist Richard Taylor gets the message across that people with dementia are just that — real, whole people.
Taylor recited some typical exchanges between caregivers and their dementia patients: "What do you want to eat?" "I don't care." "What do you want to wear?" "I don't care. My son takes care of that." "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know." "Well, what do you want to do?" "Oh, just sit here.""That's wrong," Taylor said. "It's a moral imperative. Everyone should live as full a life as they can. Everyone deserves to be treated as a whole person. We're called 'shells of ourselves.' 'Richard is gone. I don't know who he is today.' We assume Richard is not home, but Richard is home. He's just not answering the door the way others do."
"There are few who are not moved by the love that Ms. Reagan felt for her husband -- and fewer still who are not inspired by how this love led her to take up the twin causes of stem cell research and Alzheimer's research," he said. "In saying a long goodbye, Nancy Reagan became a voice on behalf of millions of families experiencing the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer's disease."New FDA approved medical food product to combat Alzheimer's Disease
Dr. Doraiswamy: Most doctors and health professionals have not heard of a medical food. I myself had not heard of it till a year ago. Everyone mixes it up with a supplement. Adding to the confusion is a new category called “functional foods” such as probiotics. So lot’s of educational efforts are needed to educate both professionals and the public. There are over a dozen medical foods already on the market for everything from memory to bowel problems. Again, it’s best you get the details of the FDA process and standards required for approval/making claims from the company.
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|Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 600 articles with more than 11,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.|
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