By Linda Stewart Ball When Hope Gillis tells new patients she’s their occupational therapist, she sometimes gets a puzzled look. “I’m retired,” they’ll say. “I don’t have an occupation anymore.” Then Gillis, an occupational therapist at Accel Rehabilitation Hospital of Plano, kindly sets them straight: “Well, yes you do (have an occupation). It’s your daily…
Helen, a resident in a senior care community, is 60 years old and living with dementia. She has a boyfriend whose room is down the hall. He’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. A family member is appalled when she sees Helen kissing her boyfriend – and suspects there has been some sexual activity.
“I have always been very close to my mum. Watching the center of our family shrivel into a shadow of her former self has been torturous. Hallucinations, incontinence, seizures, and loss of language are all part of Mum’s life now. As a family member, Alzheimer’s Disease makes you feel so out of control.”
If you’re a caregiver taking care of a family member at home, what you do for your loved one every day is no doubt all consuming. From showering, toileting, dressing, and feeding your loved one, to making frequent trips to the doctor and pharmacy