A week after his double knee replacement surgery, John Cain was walking on a high-tech treadmill that made him feel lighter than air. With bandaged knees and thick, warm socks, the 65-year-old strode slowly but steadily on the machine known as the AlterG, an anti-gravity treadmill.
Helen, a resident in a senior care community, is 60 years old and living with dementia. She has a boyfriend whose room is down the hall. He’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. A family member is appalled when she sees Helen kissing her boyfriend – and suspects there has been some sexual activity.
“I have always been very close to my mum. Watching the center of our family shrivel into a shadow of her former self has been torturous. Hallucinations, incontinence, seizures, and loss of language are all part of Mum’s life now. As a family member, Alzheimer’s Disease makes you feel so out of control.”
In my 19 years in the healthcare industry I have talked with hundreds of residents and family members and it helped me have a greater appreciation for what families go through when making the big, life-changing decisions for their older family members. But nothing could prepare me for what it was like – up close and personal.