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work and dementia


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Old 12-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
ninamarc
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work and dementia

I wonder what people do when they have dementia and how do they decide when they need to quit work? Volunteer or paid...
Volunteers often are older people. Sometimes some elderly people want to keep working until they get sick to keep some kind of title or keep working for dignity/satisfaction. Never know when to retire and etc. I know the person himself sometimes does not know when he has dementia. It is hard to tell when to quit work. Often the other people around him have to tell him to quit due to dementia. It seems real hard for some elderly to let go of work. I would want to enjoy life or travel in old age before I get too sick. However these people continue to work and screw up the paperwork at work as volunteers.

What can we do??? Force them to leave work due to incompetence?

Last edited by ninamarc; 12-11-2013 at 09:56 PM.

 
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Re: work and dementia

That is a question individualized to the person with dementia and who/where they work. There are some jobs that will require the person to leave even in the early stages of dementia. There are other jobs that they can do longer. Some companies are willing to adjust the duties to accommodate and some are not. In the early stages of dementia many do understand that they are having difficulties. I know several that have sought out a diagnosis and quit their jobs voluntarily because they are incapable of fulfilling their duties or making mistakes. If they are not doing an adequate job, I am sure their supervisor will bring it to their attention, just as they would any other employee. Employers deal with ineffective employees every day and have a procedure for doing so.

One of the local university coaches here suffers from Alzheimer's. He had retired from coaching but was still on the Athletic Staff of the University. For years, he went to work every day. They retained his long time secretary. He had no responsibility that affected the program but "worked" every day for years under the watchful eye of his secretary. Bless the University that gave him that opportunity to remain engaged as long as possible!

I also have a friend who was in the medical field. Mistakes could be life threatening. When he began to have difficulties he knew it. He had him self diagnosed and had to leave his position. He is now putting his energies into Alzheimer's Awareness. It is amazing what he has accomplished.

Like everything else in dementia... nothing is a one size fits all.... and it depends on the person, the job, and who/where they are working That is something that has to be discussed openly with the person, their family, and their employer.

Love, deb

 
Old 12-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: work and dementia

It is hard sometimes. When the other person is angry with this situation and has arguments about dementia, things went wild and both sides are not happy. Esp. if the older person has more power. It seems the push may make them think but in the end it makes them angry and stay!!
I would think it helps to be gentle. Give other suitable jobs and etc.

Nina

 
Old 01-20-2014, 11:50 PM   #4
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Re: work and dementia

I know of a doctor who was suffering from Alzheimer's and his nurses and coworkers mentioned it to his wife but nothing was done until the hospitals demanded he be tested.
My husband was self employed (we have business) which made it very hard cause nobody could fire him except, me. I had demanded he see a doctor about 10 years ago but, after the doctor ordered the tests, he refused to go. I finally told him I was laying him off 3 years ago. He decided he wanted to see the doctor again and was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer's. The doctors were amazed that he got away with it for so long. He didn't. I had the workers basically look after him when he was working.

 
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: work and dementia

It takes patience. Sometimes the person has to co-operate slowly. It is slow in the process.

Thanks for replying.
Nina

 
Old 01-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: work and dementia

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorptired View Post
I know of a doctor who was suffering from Alzheimer's and his nurses and coworkers mentioned it to his wife but nothing was done until the hospitals demanded he be tested.
My husband was self employed (we have business) which made it very hard cause nobody could fire him except, me. I had demanded he see a doctor about 10 years ago but, after the doctor ordered the tests, he refused to go. I finally told him I was laying him off 3 years ago. He decided he wanted to see the doctor again and was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer's. The doctors were amazed that he got away with it for so long. He didn't. I had the workers basically look after him when he was working.
Does it do any good to diagnose it early? Are there any medicines that really work without bad side effects? Can you tell me exactly what he was doing that made you so concerned? Bless you!

 
Old 01-26-2014, 09:56 PM   #7
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Re: work and dementia

Vegae, my friend no longer works at his profession but he works tirelessly for Alzheimer's Awareness. He has his family support as well. He is doing well in his early 50's now. This is not just a disease of the elderly. It can strike younger victims as well. About 4% of all Alzheimer's cases are under age 65. In the US, that is over 200,000 individuals with early onset!

Diagnosis is important in two ways. First, there is always the possibility it is not a progressive form of dementia. There are a number of diseases, illnesses, medication side effects, and other conditions that can mimic the cognitive decline but can be treated effectively. So please never assume that cognitive decline equals a progressive dementia. It is imperative to get to a doctor, and find out what the true diagnosis is. We can not let fear keep us from going after the best diagnosis possible.

If it is Alzheimer's or one of the other progressive dementia it is better to know than to wonder. Then informed decisions can be made regarding the future. At this point in time, there is no effective treatment or cure for Alzheimer's or any of the progressive dementia. There are several approved medications but they do not alter the course of the disease. These medications fake out the chemicals that dissolve the messages in the brain so the messages have a little longer to get where they are going. They only work for a small percentage of people and they only work for a short time, a few months. They do not cure of slow down the progression. They do seem to work better if the diagnosis is early in the disease but they also have side effects. But the other benefits of early diagnosis outweigh the lack of treatment or a cure.

I know several with diagnosed dementia who are living very positive and productive lives. We tend to think of the later stages of this disease. Yet with early diagnosis, a positive attitude, and a support system, one with dementia can have many good years.

Love, deb

 
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