At 10 weeks I discovered I was pregnant with twins. I remember spending the next hour laughing from shock.
But after the diagnosis, and after her condition worsened to the point that she could no longer live in her own home, her family moved her into an assisted living facility.
The facility was large and unfamiliar to her. Staff tried to pull her into social activities, but she resisted, and as time went along she became increasingly withdrawn and isolated. What had given her so much joy throughout her life was now inaccessible to her.
Maggie was losing the ability to feed herself and had lost significant weight, so she was moved to the dining room and assigned a feeder.
She appeared anxious, so her doctor put her on Ativan three times a day. While Ativan can help relieve anxiety, it can also make people, especially the elderly, lethargic. Her family tried to compensate by increasing the time they spent with her, but it seemed to do little if any good.
They were losing their mother, even more than they already had. At first, their approach seemed to work: She started smiling at staff. But one day they found her completely wrapped up in a blanket like a cocoon that covered her from the top of her head to her toes. Staff were worried that this meant Maggie was feeling very frightened and unsafe.
And when she was unwrapped, the moment a staff member touched her in order to provide personal care, such as toileting, dressing, or showering, she screamed at the top of her lungs.
Jayne Clairmont, owner and operator of English Rose Suites, solicited ideas from all her staff, not just the leadership team. Clues For Making Maggie Happier To try to make bathing more pleasant, staff decided to heat the bathroom before taking her in and dry her off with towels fresh from the dryer.
They also installed a rolling shade over the sink mirror, as Maggie appeared to be fearful when she saw the person in the mirror. Another strategy they tried was intensive aromatherapy. Caregivers rubbed the essential oil of lavender on her skin every two hours to surround her in a familiar and comforting scent.
Staff noticed she had difficulty finding the right word when she wanted to express herself, so they worked hard to understand the particular way her mind tended to find a certain kind of word when reaching to express a completely different one.
All of this required intensive one-on-one time getting to know Maggie very well. Because Maggie so clearly needed comfort, staff took every opportunity to give her a warm hug or sit or walk with her, holding her hand so that she might feel less alone in this strange new world her brain had drawn her inexorably into.ZACHARYS WAY # is currently off-market and earned a out of Walk Score ®.
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The facility was large and unfamiliar to her. Staff tried to pull her into social activities, but she resisted, and as time went along she became increasingly withdrawn and isolated.
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