Are the keys in the freezer? An advocate's guide for Alzheimer's and other dementias

Patricia Woodell

Book - 2013

Are the Keys in the Freezer?--An Advocate's Guide For Alzheimer's and Other Dementias is an artful blend of practical consumer advice and a compelling story of a family's search for answers as it grapples with their mother's descent into dementia. This well-researched book is a must-read for families looking for resources and ideas about care facilities, hospice, finances and costs of care, advance directives, and other topics about managing the affairs of the elderly. A story of conflict and of light-hearted moments, Are the Keys in the Freezer? is the rich personal testimony of a family's struggle to navigate the confusing world of dementia care choices for their mother. The book is an insider's guide to unra...veling medical, legal, and regulatory issues that affect the quality of care for loved ones who cannot make care decisions for themselves. The book's easy, conversational tone turns complex issues into everyday language, making it an easy read for newcomers to the world of caring for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 616.831/Woodell Checked In
North Charleston, SC : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform c2013.
Main Author
Patricia Woodell (-)
Other Authors
Brenda Niblock (-), Jeri Warner
Physical Description
xxi, 211 p. : 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. [201]-211).
  • 1. Coming to terms with dementia. What is dementia?
  • Testing and diagnosis for dementia
  • Understanding types of dementia
  • Stages of dementia : Mild or early stage of dementia ; Moderate or middle stage of dementia ; Severe or late stage of dementia
  • Treatment plans for dementia
  • 2. Care facilities: making the right move. Types of care facilities : Continuing care retirement communities ; Independent living ; Assisted living ; Adult family homes ; Skilled nursing facilities ; Alzheimer's and memory care facilities
  • Guidelines for screening care facilities
  • Making the choice: our concerns in selecting a care facility
  • Meals and menus in care facilities
  • Social activities in care facilities: what's available to keep people interested?
  • Moving to a care facility: dementia and disorientation
  • Dementia and wandering outside a care facility: a choice of safety or independence
  • Switching assisted living facilities: making sure it's the right move
  • Conflicts with assisted living staff
  • Lessons about choosing a service area in a care facility
  • Memory care: first impressions
  • What happens if you live in a different state?
  • 3. Can we afford a care facility? Paying for long-term care : Long-term care insurance ; Reverse mortgages ; Veterans benefits ; Aid and attendance pension benefit ; Life settlement ; PACE program ; Income tax deductions ; Medicare and Medicaid
  • Finances: do you really know what's happening?
  • Comparing costs: living at home or in a care facility
  • Facility fee structures
  • Cost categories in a long-term care budget
  • building a five-year budget : Table 1: Net worth ; Table 2: Income and expenses ; Table 3: Annual reductions in net worth
  • What if a family cannot afford a care facility?
  • Family conflicts about money and caregiving responsibilities
  • 4. Care facility agreements. Flexibility in care facility agreements : Negotiating apartment or room prices ; Waiting lists ; One-time fees
  • Talking about terms with facility staff : Financial guarantee ; Asset guarantee
  • Care plans
  • Attachments and exhibits to care facility agreements : State inspection handbook ; Resident information forms ; Resident rights forms ; Privacy notice ; Pharmacy authorization ; Public relations and activity authorizations ; Disclosure of services
  • Where to turn for help : State long-term care ombudsman offices ; Adult protective services ; Licensing offices that regulate care facilities ; Legal support
  • 5. Advocacy in medical care. Unmasking mom's medication problems
  • Taking responsibility for someone's health care
  • Monitoring a care facility's medication system
  • Checkpoints for monitoring medications : Open communications with the physician ; Reviewing the medical chart ; Laboratory tests ; Warning labels
  • What happens when the system breaks down
  • Calming drugs: are they the answer in a care facility?
  • Hearing, vision, dental care, and mobility
  • 6. Hospice and palliative care. What is hospice care?
  • Qualifying for hospice care
  • Role of the hospice team
  • Comfort care for dying patients
  • The importance of educating families about dying
  • 7. Advance care directives. What are advance directives? : Living will ; Durable power of attorney for healthcare
  • Appointing a health-care proxy
  • Shortfalls of advance directives
  • Five Wishes: an alternative to traditional advance directives
  • Doctor's orders: out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders
  • POLST: Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment
  • When to take action on advance care directives
  • 8. The path forward. Changing the way we look at care facilities
  • Neighborhood alternatives for the future
  • Dementiaville: the answer to future care?
  • The Alzheimer's café
  • Current and emerging technologies
  • Appendixes. 1. Examples of cognitive tests : Mini-mental status exam ; St. Louis University mental status exam
  • 2. Care-plan costs and the point system in assisted living and memory care facilities
  • 3. Technologies, now and the future : In-home remote monitoring technologies ; Tracking technologies ; Home safety ; Assistive products ; Cognitive fitness technologies ; Education.
Review by Library Journal Review

Starred Review. In 2011, the mother of sisters Woodell (ret. project manager and instructor, Alaska Dept. of Commerce and Economic Development, Anchorage), Brenda Niblock (ret. health educator; volunteer public speaker and educator for Donate Life Northwest), and Jeri Warner (ret. physical therapist, Kaiser Permanente) died as a result of advanced dementia. The personal, medical, and legal experiences gained and lessons learned by the sisters over the preceding six years of care form the backbone of this work that will be priceless to families facing a similar road. The authors remark that in writing the book they interviewed psychology, law, and medical professionals; visited facilities with different care philosophies; sought various stakeholders' views about changes in the industry; and compiled lists of national resources for other families. Chapters such as "Coming to Terms with Dementia," "Care Facilities: Making the Right Move," "Advocacy in Medical Care," and "Hospice and Palliative Care" go into great detail on, for example, figuring out the costs of living in a care facility vs. at home, negotiating care-facility agreements and costs, health-care proxies and advanced directives, and how carers can stay in touch with others for support. The combination of the detailed information with the insights gained from caring for a loved one with the condition makes this essential for affected families. VERDICT As the authors note, 20 million people are caring for 5.4 million patients with dementia. This excellent work will, unfortunately, find a wide audience.-Henrietta Verma, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

This highly readable guide for dementia caregivers blends a medical memoir with useful advice.After the emotionally draining experience lived through by this book's three authors, they're undoubtedly thinking the same thing: "If I knew then what I know now." The sisters share the story of their mother's five-year mental decline as she went through the various stages of dementia. The sisters had intended to craft a personal memoir; however, they write, "In the course of our research, that goal changed as we gained insight into the hopes and concerns of the people we met in memory care facilities." This led them to recast the book into a manual for caregivers that recounts their own experience and guides readers to a greater understanding of dementia as well as the care options. With considerable skill, the authors interweave their story with the issues they faced, drawing upon their own situation to illustrate what they didn't know at the time. "We learned about dementia by trial and error," they write, "and we stumbled many times, because we didn't know where to turn. Now we realize the importance of understanding the course of the disease and its outcomethis knowledge would have given us the tools to plan ahead and provide the best possible care for our mother." It is these tools the authors generously share in a tightly organized, well-written work. They offer a comprehensive discussion of dementia, its types (including Alzheimer's) and stages; detail the kinds of available care facilities and facility agreements; address paying for dementia care; talk about patient advocacy; cover hospice and palliative care; and include a chapter on advance care directives. Every chapter ends with "Lessons Learned"not so much a summary as insightful observations. In closing, the authors peek into the future in a fascinating section that demonstrates how social and technological changes might revolutionize dementia care. They also provide an excellent compilation of resources.Frank and poignant, with the optimum balance of personal storytelling and actionable guidance. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.