Tom and Peggy Msiyang sat recently in Manassas, Virginia, where they talked about the children they had taken abroad in the 1980s, when Tom (64 years old) mistakenly mentioned the main detail.
India – he said.
Peggy, 59, plucked in. "Philippines".
"Oh, yes, the Philippines," said Tom, retired CIA officer. He smiled at his wife's smile. – This is Ollie. – Ollie is their pseudonym for Alzheimer's disease, whose disease Tom was diagnosed seven years ago. For Missyagna, Ollie is the third presence in a home that they have never been invited to. But since he is here, they make a place for him. And although it may seem insensitive, they even try to have fun with him.
This approach ̵
He contrasts sharply with previous generations of Alzheimer's patients and their educators who saw the disease as something hidden. Even now, according to the Alzheimer's Association for 2015, less than half of the patients with Alzheimer's have received it, and a 2012 study found that it surpassed cancer as a disease that Americans are most afraid of. She was shy in shame, stuck in the fact that Bill Thomas, geriatric, working on changing the attitude to old age, calls "a tragedy of the story."
"The main framework with which America can fight this is this. . . what a terrible, devastating ride to the end, and then you will die, "he said. "Although actually true, it is extremely useful for families and elders."
Family members often try to push a beloved person back to the right facts or to properly smell things, but with the course of the disease, it can turn their daily engagements on the gloomy
Despite the difficulty of the disease, Thomas and others contribute to a more adaptive approach, which they say can help carers and patients. It involves greater flexibility and readiness to expand their perceptions of how things should be – even crazy, though it may sound, to see Alzheimer's Disease as a gift.
Too much attention is paid to the treatment of the disease. said Mary Friedley, co-founder of the seminar entitled "Joy of Dementia (You Have to Have a Joke!)" At the East Side Institute, a Research Center for Alternative Psychology and Education in New York .
"Dementia is extremely painful," said Friedley, who wrote about the care of her mother, who had Alzheimer's disease, and died a year ago. But, she added, "I sincerely believe that this is an opportunity, if people so choose, to be improvised, to be stupid, to play, to be free from the limitations of truth, knowledge and assumptions."
A study in a Canadian nursing home showed that the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia patients decreased significantly, and their quality of life indicators improved significantly after 12 weeks of visits by "senior clowns" who were dealing with them using humor, compassion and improvisation. In addition, pupils benefit: in the Australian study of 2016, dementia assistants have had a positive attitude and "person oriented" strategies that felt more competent about the ability to provide assistance.
Although large-scale research on positive dementia approaches
Thomas, ChangingAging, has a traveling show titled "Disrupt Dementia," which studies emotions associated with dementia. And in Seattle, the collective movement, known as Momentia, facilitates social gatherings in coffee, museum tours, walks in zoos, and even shameless conversations for people with dementia and their supervisors
. " With my mother, especially when she began to lose a quote, her ability to speak, she was joking, and the words were meaningless," she said. The idea of what language is there, Friedley stopped worrying about it.
"Sometimes we together created a poem. She could have said something and I would say something that we quote, rumor, and then she will say something that is rhyming like "I'm dying," "You're dying," "I'm having dinner."
Jennifer Carson, director of the recently launched program for the involvement, education and research on dementia at the University of Nevada in Reno, encourages this type of interaction. event, opportunity to fly, "she said. "It does not in any way prevent the pain and suffering that result from dementia from happening, but to understand that the pain suffers as a result of the response."
Carson believes that many suffering comes from a social reaction after the diagnosis, that it describes how it is treated, as if you no longer exist. "Tell someone who has dementia, and then ignore them: this suffering is much more than tragedies that are inherent in dementia itself."
This was the experience of Brian LeBlanc from Pensacola, Florida, who was diagnosed with four Alzheimer's. many years ago. People will come up and "turn to the one with whom I was and say:" How does he do it? "I will turn to them and say:" I am doing very well, and I still hear you, "he said. 19659023] 58-year-old LeBlanc was painfully familiar with the disease – his mother, grandfather and great-grandmother had him, and his diagnosis was devastating. But, he said, "I did not want to stay in this dark place."
His mother never wanted to talk about her Alzheimer's disease and was removed after her diagnosis. But LeBlanc's background was in the field of public relations and marketing, so he began to do what he knew better: traveling and speaking publicly, hoping to teach people how to feel Alzheimer's disease from the inside.
From the first days of his diagnosis, LeBlanc used humor. as a mechanism to overcome. After he learned that he had a disease, a friend sent him a photo of T-shirts:
I have Alzheimer's
Cheese on toast.  "I thought it was the most fun", – he said. – These are the things that hold me. I am suffering stigma of people who say I'm not like Alzheimer's. But these are people who are actually my friends who will stick to me and joke and say: "Hey, you have $ 20 that you are obligated to do?" And then I have to stop and think and they will start laughing.
Rethinking the Idea of Normal
In a ballroom at a volunteer fireplace in Walkersville, Maryland, in November, Karen Stobbe instructed audiences who included professional and family carers, Stobbe showed them how to reflect each other's body movements, allowing his partners to lead until the whole room was a dance of arched hands and inclined his head.
54th, Stobbe, spent a third of his Life as a caretaker, first for her father, who had Alzheimer's disease Era died in 2000 and then for her mother who suffered the disease for 17 years and died in March.
She studied as an actress, but in her parents' care she found that theatrical improvising skills were also working with them – meeting them where they were and following their replicas, regardless of how unexpected they were. 150 members of the head of the Alzheimer's Association "Great Maryland"
Do not deny; Agree, she told them. Do not argue. Current, not resistance, is the key to fruitful interactions. When the patient asks for something foolish or impossible, and not to say "no", say "yes," and then insert a sentence that is appropriate.
"If someone says:" I want to go home ". You can say, "Yes, and tell me about your house," or "Yes, and it's a little cold; Let's get a sweater, – she said. – What is it, then this canvas of help then. It calms her down and says, "Yes, I hear you."
For those who care, to remain positive means to give up expectations of how things should be, said Stobbe. "We have such a tendency when we want this person to return to our world," she said. "We believe this is not normal, so we want them to stop. If someone is sitting at the table, they break the napkins, and they get joy, why not let them do it?
Instead, she said, it might be useful to find out their world.
So if they see a duck on your head or monkeys outside the window, playing along with "things that come out of their mouths because the edit button is turned off" can allow everyone to relax and have fun. "Laugh or sing with them," she said, "and they see that this is normal."
Friedley encourages people to consider nonlinear, often fictitious dialogues of patients with Alzheimer's with the same expectations as in poetry. "I think that almost everyone agrees with the fact that the experience of writing and reading poetry differs from the experience of writing and reading the newspaper," she said. "Poetry is not burdened. I think that most people see it in a language game, and people take it for it and love it for it, because it allows us to "unite in unidentified ways."
In the end, she said: we have a lot of what we do in everyday life that makes no sense. "We dance stupid dances, look at the moon, fall in love, and all these things are surprisingly foolish"
Makes things more fun
Tom and Peggy Misiania were recently in Bowl America on Matisse Avenue in matching black polo shirts from Iron Eagles, mixed league on the morning of the morning. Tom, a firmly built man with neatly trimmed saltin-pepper hair, lifted the mantle and leaned down, sending it to the studs, the last frame of the day.
It was not a very strike, but it was close.
A small smile played on his face when he joined his wife on a bench.
"I came to the strong, is not it?"
"A good game," she said, and their fingers were caught
It was a dinner time. At Captain D at Centerville Road, they ordered their usual three-part fish dishes and talked about their lives and how his disease changed him. How was it difficult at first to tell people that he did it. Now, when they tell a story about how they met, he needs it to fill in the key details he once knew.
From the moment of his diagnosis, the couple tried to have fun together. Tom has embarked on new activities such as darts and coloring books. He never danced before; Now he and Peggy go to the square. He never played a musical instrument, but took up the violin. And they joined the choir "Felony Friends," for people with dementia and their friends and carers, although they never sang before.
"Wait, wait," he said.
"In Latin," added Peggy.
He smiled. "In Latin, no less."
Peggy is grateful for Tom's ability to joke about his unfortunate memory. Nevertheless, she must constantly focus on how to talk with her about her limitations. "It's almost like a kid – if you tell the child," you have to do it, "well, they're not going to do it … If we make a lawn, and I continue to say:" Tom, do it, Tom, do it " at some point he becomes a bit rebellious, like a child. If I ask him to get the leaves, he will say: "No, I will do it later." In a few minutes he will say: "What can I do to help?" "Can you go there to leave those letters? "And then he will pass and do it."
Keeping things and currents is what Peggy makes to make life easier. But it also puts Tom easily.
As on the day he was in a bath shave, she heard his shout: "Oh, God, what have I done?"
He was in the doorway – with one eyebrow.
"Can you fix it?" – he asked.
"No," she said, unable to stop laughing. – Just shave another. It's just an eyebrow. "