Disclaimer

This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Are We There Yet?

According to the V.A. we aren't.

Hubby had an appointment for Palliative/Hospice care the other day.
I allowed 2 hrs for Hubby to get up, have coffee, eat and me get him prepared for his appointment.
This time frame is usually a good one although there are times we cut it close.
This particular day it took the entire 2 hrs just to get Hubby out of bed.
It wasn't because he didn't want to go, it was because Hubby has NO concept of time.
No matter how much I prodded him he just didn't go. When he finally did, our window closed and locked, so I had to cancel.
At this point, knowing the importance of this appointment I was very frustrated but over and over I had to remind myself that Hubby has no control over his time concept.
When I told Hubby we had to cancel he didn't understand why.
I tried explaining we had an appointment but the word appointment was lost on Hubby and he couldn't understand why we couldn't just go and get one while we were there.
I suggested Hubby might appreciate the the time to get a little more sleep, he did.

I called and cancelled and was told someone would call me back and we would see what we could do on the phone.
Nobody called that day.
Wed while my aide was here, someone called and I missed it, they said they would call back.
Thursday, nobody called.
This morning my aide is coming again and I will need to make the weekend run for milk and such. I fretted someone would call while I was gone so I called instead.
Contact!!

ACCORDING TO THE V.A. guidelines for Hospice for dementia are pretty strict.
After a long search, I found this Functional Assessment Scale (FAST) used in determining eligibility.
Besides a list of things Hubby does qualify about he must have..

 A)Ability to speak limited to approximately ≤ 6 intelligible different words
in the course of an average day or in the course of an intensive interview.
**Hubby can still have fragmented sentence conversations that make some sense.

B) Speech ability is limited to the use of a single intelligible word in an
average day or in the course of an intensive interview

C) Ambulatory ability is lost (cannot walk without personal assistance.)
 **At this point, I have the ability to get him up and get him to appointments. He can help with transfers and can walk very short distances as long as he has something to hold.

D) Cannot sit up without assistance (e.g., the individual will fall over if
there are not lateral rests [arms] on the chair.)
** Close on this one, he can sit up for short lengths of time on the side of his bed but eventually tumbles over.

E) Loss of ability to smile.
**Hubby can still smile.

F) Loss of ability to hold up head independently
**Hubby can still hold his head up.

 AND

One or more of the following conditions in the 12 months:
Aspiration pneumonia
Pyelonephritis (kidney infections, I had to look it up)
Septicemia
Multiple pressure ulcers ( stage 3-4)
Recurrent Fever

These have not occurred for Hubby

So our course of action is to stay where we are doing what we are doing until we get there.
Palliative Care .

My team of Drs and our HHA providing comfort, ease and quality of life for Hubby.
We know that there is no cure for Lewy Body. Maybe one day there will be :)

I think I was a little disappointed that Hubby didn't qualify only because I didn't get the opportunity to say, "No Thanks, we're good with what we have " ;-)
One good thing might come out of the process. The lady I spoke with said that she would submit Hubby's HHA renewal NOW (it expires this month)
Let's hope she has a little more pull in getting it through beforehand, but I wont hold my breath, it is the V.A. after all.

6 comments:

  1. Lots of issues with dementias to deal with. It is good you have the VA, even though it is a hastle.

    Hugs and prayers,
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I TOTALLY AGREE with you Carol!
      I feel very blessed to have the V.A., hassles and all!!
      We've dealt with them for so many years that hurry up and wait is our middle name.

      How are things going with you?

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really weird. I am trying to just leave a hug but it is not posting right. So HUG !!

      Delete
  3. One day when Hubby does qualify for hospice services, it will be a huge blessing for both of you. The Hospice nurses are amazing people. They not only help my mom but help me too. The berreavement councillor got me through lots of emotions associated with the impending demise of my mom.

    ReplyDelete

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