A Nursing Home

Lacy has been at a nursing home now for almost three months.  We are sure we made the right decision, and are confident that he is well cared for.

Huntington's Disease has not been a part of the professional experience for most of the caregivers at Lacy's nursing home.  The behavior issues - perseveration, paranoia, anger - confound many of the dedicated staff.  His speech is becoming more difficult to understand, and these folks haven't known him long enough to be able to decode his speech just yet.  We are still working to make sure his needs are met, and that he has the adaptive equipment he needs (like adaptive silverware).

No matter what we do, or how we try to help, we are pretty powerless in the face of the ravages of HD.  We are all feeling our way.  We have found that it is important to share our knowledge and any information or materials we can supply.  Either Kenny or I (or both of us) are there at some point every day, and sometimes multiple times a day.

It's not a perfect world.  Lacy has had some falls since he moved in.  As the director of nursing said, "We have gravity here, too."  We still employ three ladies to help Lacy shower three times a week.  It provides some continuity to his day-to-day life.
Communication is the most important part of life in a nursing home.  I have realized that so many of the people at the nursing home don't have anyone.  The staff is used to living in a sort of bubble.  Having a family that is as involved as we are is helpful to them, and they are willing to call us if they can't persuade Lacy to take his medicine, or if he is very upset.

I believe that we will be a blessing to them as much as they are to us.  We will be able to educate them about Huntington's Disease.  They will support Lacy, Kenny, and me as we make this long journey together.

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