Happy Memories

From Yahoo News:

For 94-year-old Louise Irving, who suffers from dementia, waking up every day to a video with a familiar face and a familiar voice seems to spark a flicker of recognition.

 “Good morning, merry sunshine, how did you wake so soon?” Irving’s daughter, Tamara Rusoff-Hoen, sings in a video playing from a laptop wheeled to her mother’s nursing home bedside.

As the five-minute video plays, with stories of happy memories and get-togethers, Irving beams a bright smile before repeating the traditional family send-off.

“Kiss, kiss … I love you.”

Such prerecorded messages from family members are part of an apparently unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale aimed at helping victims of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness that can often cause them agitation and fear.

I used to work in the Alzheimer’s ward of a  nursing home, and I would have loved to have had the time and resources to do something like this.

It wasn’t like that, though.  When I got to work I had one hour to get ten patients awake, dressed, and down the hall for breakfast.  That’s six minutes per person.

They hated me, of course.  Who wouldn’t?  Nobody wants to be woken from a sound sleep and briskly hustled down a hallway.

I lasted nine months, and that was longer than most.  When I burned out, they just threw me away and replaced me with another one.

That’s their business model.

It’s quite profitable for them.


  1. markonit

    …unfortunately, that IS the business model… there is no profit in taking care of patients… it’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” all over again… and again…


  2. And that is truly, Truly their loss.


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