Rising Up: A Story of Restoration

Linda was inclined to making impulsive, reckless decisions. She spontaneously informed her landlord she would be moving out of her apartment without making a plan for a new residence. She was also involved in a car accident in which she was the driver, however she had no recollection of the event. Even more alarmingly, it was reported that Linda boarded a private aircraft bound for Italy without any plan or means by which to return home. Read more…

The Accidental Traveler: On the Road with Dementia

Ken, by all accounts, was missing. His sister called to report that he had prematurely and abruptly ended his apartment lease, moved his belongings to storage, and set out for Florida in his car. He wasn’t answering his phone or responding to her frantic messages. She explained that Ken struggles with words, not because he is shy, but because he has early-onset Alzheimer’s and primary progressive aphasia. And he was out there alone, with no memory of the moments leading up to now, talking to strangers in his halting, labored style, and most assuredly heading for some kind of trouble. It was time to call the police. Read more…

A Strange Sort of Limbo: How a Woman Was Lost, Found, and Still Somehow Lost

Anita was, by all accounts, a very pleasant woman. She participated in all of the facility’s social outings and taught the other residents how to knit. She could not, however, tell you her name on a consistent basis, nor did she always know which room was hers. She remembered only tiny bits of distant history, some long-ago family associations, a few places she might once have lived. She could not tell you how she’d come to be in this Assisted Living facility. Mysteriously, neither could anyone else. Read more…

Snakes on a Rug

Barbara’s world was an interesting and often frightening place. Snakes nipped at her ankles as she moved around her apartment. Urine ran freely from the showerhead. The neighbors held raucous parties and smoked pot. A skunk in the hallway routinely “gassed” her. This was no place for an 82-year-old woman to live. Read more…

Disabled Father and Son Rely Upon Each Other

Louis Peters, age 78, lived with his son, John. Mr. Peters, a widower since 1995, experienced age-related deterioration, particularly where his cognitive abilities were concerned-–Mr. Peters demonstrated symptoms of progressing dementia. John, who was unable to work because of a mental health disability, was able to successfully care for his father in the home for some time but, eventually, the elder Mr. Peters needed more care than his son could provide. Read more…

The Handicapped Adult Child without a Plan

Mary Phillips was diagnosed at a young age as “mildly retarded” with an IQ of 64.  Her mother also had a slight disability.  Together they were able to support each other through their day-to-day lives.  Mary even held a steady job for 15 years at the local diner.  This family had no concept of long-term planning and there was no plan for the future.  Then it happened — Mary’s mother died and Mary had to face the world on her own at the age of 46.  Read more…