All in all, I find this workbook to be an enormously valuable tool for both professionals in the aging field and for caregivers at home to use for peace of mind.
By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Now Viki has published a companion “workbook” to that guide.
I ordered one from her right away, when I found out that it existed. It’s as wonderful as I anticipated it would be.
The workbook is interactive, meaning the reader actually makes lists and performs other activities which visually show them the answers to the problems or questions they have.
Viki is a “bioethicist”, which means to me that she can help the reader find the ethical answer, whatever that answer is.
I find her to be unique in her approach, and I couldn't be happier that I found her.
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Here I want to talk about her section about evaluating the danger when the person being cared for lacks capacity to make their own decisions. (People with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive diseases). Her goal is to help caregivers make RATIONAL rather than EMOTIONAL decisions for their loved ones.
First, the workbook helps the reader construct an “Evaluating Risk Formula Diagram” composed of two parts. One part is the seriousness of the danger and the other part is the chance of the danger happening. You’ll need to get the workbook to see how it’s done, but my point here is that the diagram is spot on in helping caregivers decide whether to act or not.
Once you know that you’ll have to act, the question becomes, “How quickly do I need to act?” and the diagram will also tell you that.
Next she addresses how to step in to protect the person. She wisely advises that when there is a serious risk to put a short term plan in place immediately. Then, when that is in place, build a better long term plan to create a good quality of life for the person while keeping them safe.
Viki cautions that the long term safety solution may ultimately be harmful both physically and emotionally, so it is best to explore what other safety options could be less restrictive or dangerous.
She helps the reader do this by giving them the tool of an Evaluating the Dangers Worksheet. Again, getting the workbook will give you the worksheet and how to use it. Using the tools that Viki gives you makes the hard decisions caregivers have to make for their loved ones clearer, and easier to live with after the decision is made.
Other portions of the book discuss how to ask for and accept help, and the reverse, how to say “No”.
How to have the very, very difficult end of life wishes conversation and how to figure out what “quality of life means to you as caregiver, as well as for yourself personally. Also Viki helps the reader make the decision if they want CPR done both by paramedics on the way to the hospital, or by doctors in the hospital.
All in all, I find this workbook to be an enormously valuable tool for both professionals in the aging field and for caregivers at home to use for peace of mind in regard to the decisions they have to make in many of the situations that are faced in caring for a vulnerable loved one.
The workbook may be obtained by contacting Viki at KindEthics@gmail.com or through her website: http://www.KindEthics.com.
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Carole Larkin MA, CMC, CAEd, DCP, QDCS, EICS is an expert in Alzheimer’s and related Dementias care. She also is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. Carole can consults with families via telephone nationwide on problems related to the dementia. Her company, ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.
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