Note: Home Care Pulse’s Alzheimer’s Disease Specialist Training is now recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association. This prestigious recognition is based on a comprehensive curriculum review to ensure all courses align with evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations in the following topic areas: Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication. You can learn more here.
The most important part of caring for a client living with Alzheimer’s? Compassion.
Let’s end with an analogy.
In the book “The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life,” Ira Byock shares a story about what the first signs of civilization look like.
“A student once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead, “What is the earliest sign of civilization?”
The student expected her to say a clay pot, a grinding stone, or maybe a weapon.
Margaret Mead thought for a moment, then she said, “A healed femur.”
A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee.
In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal.
A healed femur shows that someone cared for the injured person, did their hunting and gathering, stayed with them, and offered physical protection and human companionship until the injury could mend.
Mead explained that where the law of the jungle—the survival of the fittest—rules, no healed femurs are found. The first sign of civilization is compassion, seen in a healed femur.”
While a broken femur can’t compare to Alzheimer’s, there’s a lot to be learned from the story above.
It’s an understatement to say that those with Alzheimer’s are dealing with a lot, and like with most things in life, compassion can go a long way.