July 17, 2016 |
Bill Manzi took a deep breath, and yet another. Breathe-in-the-nose, breathe-out-the-mouth deep breaths. Then he answered his wife Susan's question, the same one she had just asked but had forgotten due to dementia. Susan Strohmetz is in the early stages of the disease. After she was diagnosed last year, Manzi almost immediately enrolled in a six-week-long caregiver class at the Penn Memory Center, where she is being treated ( www.philly.com/memory ). Strohmetz, now 70 and retired, was diagnosed in 2014 with mild cognitive impairment.
March 24, 2016 |
The worst six months of Candice Archibald's life began last summer while she was playing Frisbee at Old Swedes' Church with her red nose pit bull Otto. Her baby. That's what Candice calls her pets: her kids. Like so many of us, that's how she loves and treats them - like they're her kids. And that's how she loves and treats the animals she takes care of for her dog-walking business. Like they're her kids, too. That's how she treats Sadie, my crazy little Australian cattle dog. My wife and I would do anything for Sadie.
January 31, 2016
ISSUE | BLIZZARD OF 2016 The neighborhood the plows forgot Mayor Kenney has been praised for the storm cleanup, but not by residents of East Germantown, where most of the streets as of Thursday had yet to see a plow pass through - not even on the bus routes ("Storming into good graces," Thursday). I have owned House at Pooh Corner Day Care in East Germantown for more than 35 years, and this is the first time I have seen the bus routes go unplowed. My teachers had to walk long distances to work because the Route XH bus was suspended for days.
January 31, 2016 |
Expect to say "I'm sorry" a lot if you decide to try one of the trendier ways to communicate with people who have Alzheimer's. There was a time when caregivers tried orienting people with dementia to reality. That often feels like the natural thing to do. "No, Mom, I actually did tell you that. Like, five times. " But at Daylesford Crossing, an assisted-living facility in Paoli, workers are more likely to just go with it if a resident has some strange ideas. Let's say Mom or Grandma is furiously accusing her neighbor of stealing something.
January 24, 2016 |
Sheila-Rea York warmly welcomed a visitor to the immaculate cottage in Mount Airy, then provided blue hospital-style shoe covers and antibacterial soap for hand washing. She led the way to the bedroom and proudly introduced the focus of her life - her mother, Dorothy York, 86. The octogenarian was propped up in a hospital bed, wearing a floral lilac nightgown. She can't walk and is disabled by many infirmities, including dementia. "I'm real old," she said when asked her age. "They used to change people's age way back to get jobs and all, and I'm older than they say. " Aside, Rea York murmured, "My mother says she's 129 years old. " Rea York fits the National Alliance for Caregiving's profile of a "higher-hour" caregiver: a fiftysomething woman who spends an average of 62 hours a week bathing, dressing, nursing, running errands, communicating with doctors, and managing the finances of an adult family member.
January 14, 2016 |
Dementia can ruin a social life. Friends don't know how to act around someone whose brain is failing, and people with dementia often withdraw as social situations get more confusing. As a result, people with Alzheimer's or another memory-robbing dementia - and their caregivers - can become isolated. Knowing that, Genevieve Ilg, a social-work graduate student who is interning at the Penn Memory Center, was intrigued when she read about "memory cafés," a European innovation that is slowly taking hold in the United States.
October 16, 2015
ALTHOUGH THE shelves in my home office are packed with books by financial experts offering really good advice, it was my grandmother Big Mama who taught me most of what I know about handling money. And she did it while living below the poverty line. To this day, I marvel at how Big Mama raised five grandchildren on her tiny salary. Pride and frustration with the welfare system made her refuse monetary assistance from the state. At times we may not have had enough for seconds during meals, but we never went hungry.
July 9, 2015 |
Corporate mergers often mean layoffs, as new bosses redefine standards. But when Valley View at Elwyn, an assisted-living home for deaf residents, joined the Mercy Health System, something very different happened. Valley View's 13 direct-care providers are deaf and use American Sign Language with their patients, some of whom have lived there for 30 years. But Mercy LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) requires staff to be registered nurse aides, and Valley View's staff lacked that qualification.
July 2, 2015 |
RUBY HORNE Hill had that special glow about her that nobody could really explain. But she had the ability to light up a room just by stepping into it. Yes, she was a beauty, but more important, according to her family, she had a beautiful spirit. "When Ruby walked into a room, the room lit up like bright sunshine," her family said. Ruby Horne Hill, a talented artist and designer and a dedicated family matriarch, died June 9. She was 90 and lived in West Philadelphia. Ruby had many gifts.
March 19, 2015 |
A POLICE OFFICER testified yesterday that when he checked on an elderly woman in an East Frankford home in November, he thought she was dead. Officer Mike Laverghetta said that when he went into the home on Haworth Street near Worth about 11 a.m. Nov. 7, he saw Prane Paciunas, 89, lying on a mattress on the living-room floor. Paciunas had a large comforter pulled up to her neck and bugs all around her, the officer said at a preliminary hearing for Jean Dombrowski, 48, who was Paciunas' caregiver and who had power of attorney over her affairs.