Maureen shares how the Banner Alzheimer's Institute Memory Assistance and Planning Service (MAPS) Program made Alzheimer's care giving more manageable.
It’s a phenomenal, phenomenal program. I think there were 20 in our group, and we all have the same problems. We don’t have any place to go to talk about these problems. Most physicians are not savvy in the ways of Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s behavior or the best way to treat a person who has Alzheimer’s.
And so we are trying to treat them as they’re normal but odd, and that, that doesn’t work and it creates lots of, it gives us a sense of impotence that there’s nothing we can do. We don’t know how to make it better, we don’t know how to fix it, we don’t know how to…you know, it’s that kind of frustration, “Now what do I do? Who do I talk to?” "Come back in six months," but what do I do? How do I live with this? What do I need to do?
I think it’s been my biggest, I don’t know, and the program has been phenomenal in that it lays out what your responsibilities are, what you don’t need to feel guilty for. Everything that you do is for the positive. It’s a very positive, upbeat, full of little kernels of information that, saying, “Don’t argue with an Alzheimer patient because…” and you get instant reward – instant reward.
You go home and you say, “Hey Dad, what about such and such,” and he starts getting in this attitude and you just go, "Well, fine. We’ll do that tomorrow,” and to have all that emotion dissipate, it gives you a sense of empowerment and that things can be managed and you can manage them.
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