Tuesday, October 25, 2022


 Grandma had hip surgery in 2017, when she fell at her nursing home. When people break their hip and they do not have dementia it is very stressful. However, when someone has Alzheimer's disease, and a broken hip it is very very difficult.

Grandma was in pain and did not understand why her hip hurt her. She was very scared in the ambulance and we needed to have a 1-to-1 aide with grandma all of the time so she does not fall out of her hospital bed while trying to "escape".

Even though I was only 10 at the time, I instinctively knew that writing notes and placing them all over grandma's room would be very help and reduce the confusion.

I remember the morning after her surgery. She did not know why she was in a hospital and wanted to go "home" immediately.

The staff (nurses, doctors, PT, OT, aides) kept reminding grandma about the surgery to "orient her". I told them to write a note and place it on the wall near her bed. 

It was very very helpful!  In addition to having Alzheimer's disease, grandma was very hard of hearing (and did not want to wear a hearing aid). Pointing to the sign reassured her about her purpose at the hospital. I guess the part of the brain, Wernicke's area, (I am learning about it in AP Psychology) that comprehends written language, is preserved for a while (until it disappears), for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Grandma calmed down and relaxed when she understood "why" she was in the hospital. The staff appreciated my suggestion and they said they will use it with other dementia patients. This was NYU Langone Hospital in NYC. It is a fantastic hospital!

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