Nursing Home Wrestling Incident: the Challenges of Memory Loss

Families who have needed to find care services for a senior suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia know the challenges of finding the right nursing community.  Many nursing facilities do not accept patients who have Alzheimer's Disease or dementia because they do not have proper facilities or staff to provide for adequate care.

The Minnesota incident of a former wrestler who mistakenly wrestled another resident, with injuries resulting in the eventual death of the resident, have brought to the table a new discussion about how best to provide for care for those seniors with memory loss.  There are no easy answers.  Fortunately, the wife of the resident who died also does not feel Minnesota wrestling legend Verne Gagne understood what he was doing.

Ask Caregivers who assist seniors with memory loss about the behaviors a senior with memory loss will act out and you will understand that it is not at all uncommon for someone to go back to performing a task they did many years ago.  And often it will especially be something that they performed over and over again in their earlier years.  And when these tasks are done in the wrong environment or with others, many accidents can happen.

When I owned a Senior Home Care Agency, one client with memory loss had the habit of going to his basement to work on his water heater because he had previously been an electrician.  Another client who was a bank teller was drawn to sorting papers constantly throughout the day and another client got up and dressed for work to go to the office every day - even though they never went anywhere. 

The Minnesota situation is very sad. Although at the same time, it is understandable that Mr. Gagne would go back to his wrestling days - he was very active in the industry and even helped launch the careers of pro wrestling legends Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura.  What do you think the best care options are for those with memory loss?

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Comments (2) -

  • Katie Deming

    3/5/2009 11:28:38 PM | Reply

    Alheimer's care is extremely challenging and in some cases it does become necessary to have a full-time caregiver monitoring and assisting the senior around the clock - I think that is the best solution.

  • april everton

    3/30/2009 8:53:47 PM | Reply

    I WILL BE THE FIRST ONE TO SAY THAT TAKING CARE OF ANY MEMORY LOSS RESIDENT IS VERY HARD.DEMENTIA/ALZEHEIMER'S DISEASE ONLY GET WORSE,BUT WHY NOT SITIMULATE THIER BRAINS? WHY NOT SET UP SOMETHING THAT THEY KNOW? LIKE THE OFFICE OR THAT WATER HEATER KEEP THERE MINDS WHERE THEY THINK ARE NOT WHERE WE WANT THEM TO BE..I HAVE TAKEN ALOT OF CLASSES FOR DEMINTIA/ALZHEIMER'S THAT NURSES,AND CASE MANAGERS HAVE TAKE AND PASSED WITH 100% WITH NURSES GETTING LOWER SCORES AREN'T THEY SUPPOSE TO KNOW MORE? THERE IS NO EASY WAY TO CARE FOR THEM BUT TO TRAIN AND KEEP TRAINING YOUR CAREGIVERS NOT JUST  CLASSES WILL TEACH THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO DO.TO BE THE BEST CAREGIVER,NO I'M NOT A CNA,JUST A CAREGIVER AND HAVE ALOT MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN ALOT OF CNA'S.WE NEED TO STOP OVER STUFFING ARE CAREGIVERS OF ARE COMMUNITY AND HELP THEM WITH STAFF,NOT WORRY ABOUT ALL THE CLASSES AT FIRST,TRAIN THAN DO THE CLASSES SLOWLY..THIS IS A NEVER ENDING PROCESS!!

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