Working in this industry really takes a toll on a person after a while and I have been working in this industry on and off for over twenty years. There is a lot of things that happen that surprises people that do not work as a caregiver or as a hands-on owner of a Home Care Organization like I have in Carmel, California. One such circumstance happened when I was working for a Skilled Nursing Facility on the Alzheimer’s wing (now it is call a memory ward). I was making my rounds in the early afternoon helping our patients with eating and getting cleaned up after lunch when all of a sudden, I heard a loud scream at the other end of the hall, so I took off to see what the commotion was. As I was walking fast down the hallway, I heard a thump as if someone fell to the floor. When I came around the corner and looked in the room, one of our patients was on top of her husband who had fallen to the floor. She was having a very violent episode and was attacking her husband and did not know who he was. I called for some help so we could stop her and get her back into bed and the nurse came in to give her some medication to calm her down. This might not seem so strange to those that know Alzheimer’s disease, but what made this surreal to me at the time was that his wife was only about 5’3” and weighed about 95 lbs. and the husband was a big man (about 6’2” and weighing about 190 lbs.), so to see him on the floor with her on top of him was a shock to me. After everything calmed down, I asked him what had happened. He said that he came into the room and gave her a kiss hello and then turned around to go open the window a little to get some fresh air. As he turned and approached the end of the bed, he heard her scream, by the time he turned around to see what was going on, she was standing on top of the bed at the end and jumped onto him causing him to lose his balance and fall down (fortunately no one was hurt) to the floor with her on top of him.  She just keep hitting him until we were able to remove her. I am amazed at the things that happen when a person that has Alzheimers disease acts out. As regular readers of my blog know, I took care of my Grandmother in my home in Carmel Valley (used to be Salinas, they keep changing our zip code) for 5 years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she was about 92 and there was times that she would go through stages of paranoia, screaming fits, trying to leave by calling cabs, and a variety of other acts that were very strange. The one thing that people that are working with family members, loved one, patients or clients, need to remember is that it is the disease that makes them act out in these strange ways. There are medications that can help. Once we were able to get Nana on a regimen of the correct medications and the correct doses, we were able to start having a better time, but it took a while to get there. Up until about the last month we were going out to dinners on Friday’s which she loved to do. She had her favorite places, some in Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Carmel Valley. So, for all of you family members that are taking care of a loved one that has Dementia or Alzheimers remember to take some respite, you need to take care of yourselves in order to be able to take care of your loved one.  It is not an easy task. The emotional, mental, and physical tasks take a lot out of a person and you will not be in the best shape for your family member or loved one if you do not take care of yourself also. There are companies like mine, Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey, that can come in and take care of your loved one from a few hours a day and up, so you can take that time off to regenerate your batteries and come back refreshed and start anew.  To learn more about myself and my company click here:

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