This is transcript and video Link for 10-minute “Psychological” section of my speech on Person-Centered Compensation Strategies.
Dementia Action Alliance 2017 conference in Atlanta GA on 2017-Jul 27. Transcript and Link for introductory section of speech was given in my last blog entry.
This is the first of four quadrants and Video Link is at bottom of Blog Posting.
Further detail for various aspects are also in Links at bottom of Blog Posting.
… What are my Psychological A–bilities, dys-Abilities, & strategies ?
One method for strategies
is capitalizing on the thinking processes that work best
— and minimizing reliance on those that work least. …
Neuro-Psych scores say
My abstract reasoning is still labelled “superior” & my visual processing is still very superior”,
so that’s helpful for … RESEARCH.
I still have good skills for Relationships, and my wRiting skills are mostly intact.
But … after 17yrs of decline, most everything else is really low.
Reading comprehension, ‘Rithmetic, & Remembering are the biggest holes that I need to work around.
Here we compare my Neuro-Psych math scores … over time:
I was in gifted math during grade school,
Business Student of the Year in High School, and worked in Accounting.
… So my math started very high.
Even after I lost my job due to what was probably my first small stroke,
arithmetic was still at 75th percentile.
That means still better than 75% of others with 2yrs college.
But as you can see it’s now dropped to 5th percentile.
Ugggh!! Numbers, numbers, NUMBERS!
I no longer understand numerical concepts over about ten.
75 and 57 sound like the same amount to me,
and they look numerically like the same amount.
… So what can we do?
Remember my visual processing is still part of that good cheese …?
So my husband (motioning to back of room) — back there at the end –
will make a picture or a graph like he did right there (pointing).
I was feeling neuro-psych testing was a waste,
So he put together these graphs and this is one of them.
When I looked at all those pages with decreasing color,
… then I could see testing was not a waste of time .
So you might consider how Neuro-Psych scores could help YOU tailor strategies.
… at least until conditions change again .
George Huba is a person with Fronto-Temporal Dementia who has a PhD in Psychology.
His ideas capitalize on visual processing.
So check out some of his blog entries at hubaisms.com.
(Uh-oh; this isn’t the slide that has his name on it, but I can get it to you.)
… Now other Psych needs & work-arounds.
Some of my common Lewy Body symptoms that create problems are vivid dreams during the night & hallucinations during the day.
- Lewy Body Dementia Association says ultra-vivid dreams and hallucinations are so common that they’re almost hallmarks of Lewy Body.
- I have two kinds of dreams;
either violent blood-and-guts dreams where I rescue and transport at-risk people
… or reading emails from friends.
- Never liked violent movies but my dreams would make great movies;
They always have a happy ending (or usually), but always after lots of stress.
((uh-uh; Hero, Lay down. Thank you.))
- My dreams are too graphic to say aloud. ((Hero Lay! Thank you. Good boy.))
– which makes the point that if your loved one or patient is exhausted there might be a very good reason.
Yes, they’re just dreams, but for a while after waking up,
My bedroom environment is under the transposed environment from my dream.
So I can’t tell which one is real.
- Then I fall asleep again … only to begin a new episode in the same environment.
- These dreams are more REAL in every way than day-time,
And they are much more exhausting, so I fight sleep.
Then in the day-time I wonder; Which one was real?
- So I worried that my view of reality was being altered by these ultra-vivid dreams.
Because running, hiding, getting shot and seeing others die is
… well it’s … bloody … hard WORK !”
… and I desperately needed rest. So …
Strategies for ultra-vivid dreams:
- Sight doesn’t pop me out after a dream, because dream-reality is super-imposed over consensus reality,
but my husband’s voice is immediately recognized – at least right now.
- Psychiatrist conclusion is that I’m well-adjusted to both past and current trauma,
so with his encouragement I take no drugs.
But he’s given good insight that I’m not applying dream-happenings in my day-to-day interactions.
- One of my most effective tools is a lap harp (which I was going to bring but there were complications).
So I brought my newest, which is a pentatonic drum.
I don’t try to remember any “songs”, but the notes can’t clash (that’s what pentatonic means basically – to me).
… so I just PLAY. And that is helpful for changing channels.
Okay; we’re still in Psych symptoms.
How about hallucinations?
Remember that altho hallucinations come later with many types of dementia,
They’re early with Lewy Body:
- Before I got my dog, mostly I relied on other persons around me;
“is there a tick on me?” (for sight hallucination).
“Is there a radio on?” (for sound hallucination).
“Is there smoke; something hot?”
- But when alone I rely on my dog:
I was sure there was an injured bird fluttering at the porch door,
but the dog’s lack of action told me it was an hallucination.
The next day, I saw a bird standing – just standing on the kitchen floor.
So I was sure it was an hallucination. IT wasn’t; that one wasn’t. !!
- I have online peer groups, and I asked friends with Lewy Body Dementia, … so now:
Retired Dr Jennifer Bute & I both use fresh coffee grounds to relieve bad smell hallucinations;
Mike Matherly and I both use over-riding sound hallucinations with a louder sound,(but that can be difficult because of over-stimulation).
… Curry Whisenhunt suggested a journal for the Dr, etc.
So here’s a hard one; When you can’t rely on your own senses for a “reality-check”, and basic abilities of life are rapidly decreasing, change is extra scary.
So what strategies for stress and emotions?
Harry Urban is now living in his 14th year of living with Alzheimers.
He uses visualization to fool his senses into a short vacation.
For Me? I try to create constructive outlets for my emotions,
So I’ll enthusiastically pull weeds,
rip sheets for making rag rugs,
walk … or write.
Right now my most effective tool for grief-work is still writing,
… then adding a picture to what was written.
It can be as simple as pieces of paper behind the prose.
But this method provides a page for my life notebook.
Look closely at my dresser drawers,
I discovered that, just like kitties purr when you visit them,
the suction cups from octopus will suck in and out on your skin if they like you.
So along with hickie-kisses from the octopus,
I brought home a stuffed toy to go on my dresser drawers.
So you get the idea; tangible objects to hold as you’re being reminded of the event.
… and I touch them every morning when I get dressed (because I have to move them in order to get to my underwear).
Link for this 10-minute section is now available on YouTube at >> https://youtu.be/gr1h7Za3fhg <<
Transcript of Introduction for speech was in my last blog entry at >> https://truthfulkindness.com/2017/07/25/strat-17sp0-intro/ . This entry has first quadrant, and following quadrants will be my next blog entries. Next will be Spiritual Dys-Abilities, Abilities, and Strategies. … but if you just cannot wait, the entire session (over 1hr including both Laurie’s and my presentations) is on YouTube at >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZTCAlfg_Zg&t=7s <<
LINKS with further detail on some of the above:
George Huba website >> https://hubaisms.com/ <<
Terrors & Dreams >> https://truthfulkindness.com/2016/01/19/impact-terrors-dreams/ <<
Video Demo of Nevel Harp >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aub51qOyGtQ <<
Service Dog issues >> https://truthfulkindness.com/service-dog-issues/ <<
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