A whole day to work ... in the dementia ward

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I painted today. Woo hoo! It was great to work again. I'm still in pain with-sciatica and a pulled hamstring but I can function.

    I've been hired to paint hallway doors in the dementia unit of a retirement community. Patients/renters ignore the signs that say "Stop!" and they set off the alarm. The staff came up with-the idea to paint faux bookshelves on the doors to disguise them.
    That's where I come in.

    What does it say about my life when I actually enjoy painting, being surrounded by dementia patients?:capitulate:
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That's a neat idea! Glad you're enjoying helping to keep them safe from themselves. ;)
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That is a WONDERFUL idea! How cool for you, too!
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Try to imagine working in the ward that had Van Gogh...
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like an interesting day...and a good idea, too!
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Awesome! That's the sign of a true artist... doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when, just so long as you get to exercise your craft! :bigsmile:
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually that was a very creative idea they came up with! I guess I'm odd...........I don't mind working with dementia patients, sometimes it's much easier than your average patient. lol And it's never boring.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    That is a very clever solution that they came up with! I don't think I would ever have the patience for it but my daughter worked with dementia and alzheimers patients and was really good at it. She worked as an aid in a nursing home for two years before she started nursing school and got really attached to a lot of the patients there. One ladys' family didn't think she could talk anymore until they saw her talking to Allison - she was the only one she would talk to! And now her husbands grandmother is in the same shape and she is so good with her!
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Pretty much the same skill set as parenting difficult children, isn't it? And the knowledge (like grandparents) that you don't have to deal with them 24/7 and be totally responsible for them all by your lonesome.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a fabulous solution to a thorny problem! I remember reading about a retirement home that had elderly patients who kept trying to go to various places on the bus. The bus stop was several blocks away and often the elderly people would get lost long before they got to the bus stop. As a solution the home made a "bus stop" complete with bench and sign right outside the main doors. Every hour or so a staff member would go out and bring whoever was out there back in.

    I am sure your bookshelves will look very realistic and attractive. They are lucky to get you to create them!
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    A lot of the old people at the nursing home where my daughter worked would try to leave too, they'd just decide they wanted to go home and they'd take out walking. They had an alarm that would go off when the doors were opened but they were sharp enough to wait till shift change and try to follow out behind the employees who were leaving for the day.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm always amazed at the variety of capabilities in our society. Those who happily work with patients in need are a perfect example of what is right in our society. Clever and caring...you're just what the Doctor ordeed. Hugs DDD
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That idea about the bookshelves or any other household item such as a fireplace or even stacks of boxes sitting there is something that is recommended by the alzheimers association for caregivers who have wanderers. Supposedly there are places online that you can buy sheets that roll down from the ceiling that look like these items. I never could afford them though. We just made my back door so my mom couldnt reach it and got child locks on my front door. Im sure your paintings though will be even better than a pull down sheet. They wont move.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Janet, don't tell anybody that! I need the money!!!

    Yes, caring for dementia/Alzheimer's pts is similar to caring for a difficult child, especially when it comes to triggers. Here is a link to a neat place in MN:
    Lakeview ranch | Lakeview Ranch Model
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a very good idea. I will be anxious to hear if it works. How nice that they actually try to do something helpful for the residents.

    Lol 3S.

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Terry...Im sure they got the idea from this...

    I literally hung xmas paper over my fridge in hopes that my mom would stay out.

    I had a harder time baby-proofing my house for my mother than I ever did with real toddlers. I mean seriously, who thinks that you have to hide the trashcan from a 5'5" tall toddler who is gonna go digging in it to eat the banana peelings and coffee grinds. Ugh! This in the middle of the night when you think she is asleep.
  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry, in my early days in Seattle I worked an Alzheimer's unit (to pay for college) ~ graveyard shift. There were all sorts of murals & such to help the residents from wandering.

    I think it's so cool this job came along for you.
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It's a great idea, but what happens if they try to take a book off the shelf? LOL!
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM....they try, but they have such short attention spans, that caregivers can redirect them and hand them a book and they forget. That is one helpful aspect to the disease.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Take a book off the shelf? I wondered the same thing! LOL!
    But knowing how short their attention spans are, as Janet pointed out, is helpful. My dad has Alzheimer's, and he is sharp one day, agitated the next, sleepy the next, alert the next, it's never the same two days in a row. So if a resident does try to grab a book, chances are they won't remember it long enough to tell another patient, or to remember it themselves.

    So did the Christmas paper keep your mom out of the fridge?