Let Them Enjoy The Small Things in Life
Innovative Nursing Home Approach to Alzheimer’s Patients Makes Lots of Sense
She’s 98, suffers from dementia, and wants an ice cream sundae. Let her have it! That’s the motto of one highly successful nursing home that’s gone head-to-head with the Department of Health for not following their script accordingly.
They are keeping their Alzheimer’s patients happy by allowing them to enjoy anything that brings them comfort – a level of instinctive emotional care that is hard to find in the many highly regimented facilities out there.
“The state tried to cite us for having chocolate on the nursing chart. They were like, ‘It’s not a medication.’ Yes, it is. It’s better than Xanax.” says one staff member.
According to the New York Times, “Recent research suggests that creating positive emotional experiences for Alzheimer’s patients diminishes distress and behavior problems.”
Frustrated by their lack of awareness and inability to express themselves, why deny these seniors the simple pleasures in life? It’s more than OK to spoil them a little bit at this vulnerable stage in their lives and I’m amazed that science needed research to back this up.
This is common sense mixed with compassion in a setting where common sense is often overlooked by the technicalities of abiding by health care regulations. Kudos to this facility and let’s hope other nursing homes follow suit and implement this insightful and intuitive approach – because it works.