A distressing problem that confronted staff at the RiverSpring Health senior care facility 15 years ago sparked some innovative thinking that has resonated across the world. A forum on ageing here yesterday heard how many caregivers of dementia patients were deprived of sleep at night.
There is no question that Donna Lou Rayhons had severe Alzheimer's.
In the days before being placed in a nursing home in Garner, Iowa, last year, Mrs. Rayhons, 78, could not recall her daughters' names or how to eat a hamburger. One day, she tried to wash her hands in the toilet of a restaurant bathroom.
In her Manhattan apartment, Josephina Deltejo is trying to coax her 84-year-old mother Brunhilda Ortiz to get ready to leave the house. As she does most nights, Deltejo makes up a story to get her mother, who has dementia, to cooperate.
In Spanish, Deltejo asks her mother if she would rather go to Miami or the Dominican Republic. “She says she wants to go to the Dominican Republic,” Deltejo translates, and then she helps the older woman gather her things and go downstairs to a waiting van.