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sheronmartinez

Can Alzheimer's residents have access to books?

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Hi--

 

I know this sounds crazy...but I was asked to do inventory for my Alzheimer's facility. I am the Activity Director. While doing so, a caregiver told me to "lock" up the books, and inventory them too, so the residents couldn't take them. She told me that she found 5 books in a resident's room.

 

I ran this by my Administrator and told her that I wanted to set up a bookshelf so that the residents could get books whenever they want. I did not agree with the caregiver to "lock" them up.

 

My administrater now wants me to prove to her that it is "okay" for residents to have access to books. So, my question is, how do I do this? Is there anywhere on the Internet or a place I can call that can tell me that residents can have books and that it is not against the standards or regulations of Alzheimer facilities?

 

I told my Adminsitrator that while residents with Alzheimer's have the minds of 3-year olds, it is NOT okay to treat them that way. This is thier home and they should have some things accessible, especially on the weekends when I am off duty, to fill their time. It seems insane to say they can't have books, when they pose no safety hazard when being left out unsupervised. I don't care if they take them in thier rooms. The caregiver is a whiner who constantly fights me on everything I want to do to help the residents.

 

Please help!

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Hi--

 

I know this sounds crazy...but I was asked to do inventory for my Alzheimer's facility. I am the Activity Director. While doing so, a caregiver told me to "lock" up the books, and inventory them too, so the residents couldn't take them. She told me that she found 5 books in a resident's room.

 

I ran this by my Administrator and told her that I wanted to set up a bookshelf so that the residents could get books whenever they want. I did not agree with the caregiver to "lock" them up.

 

My administrater now wants me to prove to her that it is "okay" for residents to have access to books. So, my question is, how do I do this? Is there anywhere on the Internet or a place I can call that can tell me that residents can have books and that it is not against the standards or regulations of Alzheimer facilities?

 

I told my Adminsitrator that while residents with Alzheimer's have the minds of 3-year olds, it is NOT okay to treat them that way. This is thier home and they should have some things accessible, especially on the weekends when I am off duty, to fill their time. It seems insane to say they can't have books, when they pose no safety hazard when being left out unsupervised. I don't care if they take them in thier rooms. The caregiver is a whiner who constantly fights me on everything I want to do to help the residents.

 

Please help!

 

Why does the caregiver have any right to complain? Is she incapable of retrieving the 5 books from the resident's room, or irritated by doing so? There is no reason to limit access to books, especially if you have observed indications of enjoyment from patients who are working with the books.

 

1. If the patients don't see the books out on a shelf they will be less likely to take one and look through it. They will not likely remember to ask you for one.

 

2. It would be more trouble for the caregiver to have to track you down each time the alert res. wanted the bookshelf area unlocked.

 

3. locking up books appears to be a punishment, when the books really should be available for all to enjoy. It's rediculous and completely unwarranted to say they should be locked.

 

4. If the caregiver is not willing to pick up the hoarded books, offer to do it yourself or have a volunteer do it for you.

 

Hope this may help you.

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In my experience with books, it is best for residents to keep their own books in their rooms. I have one res who can't distinguish the difference between the stories she reads and reality. She was reading a spy novel and suddenly we were trying to poison her, so she wouldn't eat (she's diabetic) and she trusted no one. Another res loves to tear up paper of any kind. Imagine my horror when I found another res' college year book in a thousand small piecesbecause it was left out. (I swear she used to work for Enron).

 

But on the other hand, I have a few res who read constantly, and get a lot of enjoyment from it. At least be careful with content and personal irreplaceable books.

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Sheron

 

This is absolutly crazy that an Administrator would have you "prove" to her that residents can have books. First off, it is a resident's right to have a book and if they want one you are required by state to give them one. If a resident used to be a reader, prior to alzhiermiers, you are required by state to incorporate that residents past interest.

 

Even though a resident may not be able to comprehend a book, there is not one single reason that they shouldn't have one. Just an FYI, NASCO/Sr. Citzen sells books that are for residents w/alzhiemers and demintia. These books are great! They are designed for the resident to easily understand and often can bring back some memories. I have a few residents that will actually flip through and read or look at the pictures for up to 30 minutes! Can you believe it! We all know our resident's attention span and 30mins. is unreal!

 

Never should one caregiver tell you how to run your activity program. I don't give a hoot about this person's opinoun. If it was me, I would smile and state that "I will take your input into consideration for our programming, thank you."

 

As an A.D. you should not be locking up books and you are required to provide res. to have accesability to independent activities. I'm sooo shocked at this insane type of thinking you are working against! If need be, look up the state regs. for activities and make a copy of the section that states for the facility to provide independent activities.

 

Yikes! Continue to be an advocate for your residents. A facility is a home, not a prision where if a resident wants a book it would be a special treat! Also, who cares if books get misplaced or lost they are just books!

 

Good Luck!

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Wow... we do not lock up books. We have shelves on every unit to share books and magazines, so what if they have a few in their room, thats what they are there for! Most of our books are donated, we do not keep any sort of inventory, it's their home, they can take what ever books they like. Most of our readers will pass along good books to others.

 

If money is the issue with the missing books, then just make sure to label them "property of..." this way you can take them back from residents when they begin hording them.

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Hi--

 

I know this sounds crazy...but I was asked to do inventory for my Alzheimer's facility. I am the Activity Director. While doing so, a caregiver told me to "lock" up the books, and inventory them too, so the residents couldn't take them. She told me that she found 5 books in a resident's room.

 

I ran this by my Administrator and told her that I wanted to set up a bookshelf so that the residents could get books whenever they want. I did not agree with the caregiver to "lock" them up.

 

My administrater now wants me to prove to her that it is "okay" for residents to have access to books. So, my question is, how do I do this? Is there anywhere on the Internet or a place I can call that can tell me that residents can have books and that it is not against the standards or regulations of Alzheimer facilities?

 

I told my Adminsitrator that while residents with Alzheimer's have the minds of 3-year olds, it is NOT okay to treat them that way. This is thier home and they should have some things accessible, especially on the weekends when I am off duty, to fill their time. It seems insane to say they can't have books, when they pose no safety hazard when being left out unsupervised. I don't care if they take them in thier rooms. The caregiver is a whiner who constantly fights me on everything I want to do to help the residents.

 

Please help!

 

Hello,

 

That is just insane that he/she would say that. A quick question to you is “Are your residents allowed to read the newspaper?” If yes what would be the difference between the paper and a book? It seems like this is a money issue. If I were in your situation, I would contact an Alzheimer’s website and ask them the same question. They are knowledgeable and can help you further. In addition, if they say yes ask them for the research behind it as proof for your administrator.

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Wow, That is hard to believe you have to have the books locked up, We have a Den on our unit, that has bookcases full of books and magazine racks full of magazines,the residents on our Alzhiemers/Dementia unit have full access to any of them at any time. We also have another room that we have books and magazines in. The residents are encouraged to look at these daily even if they do not remember what they read or was seeing it still stimulated thier minds it may have also brought back memories of something from thier past. Maybe you can ask for donations from family members in your monthly newsletters for magazines and books they are not using any longer. A library may also be a good place to look for donations for books they no longer are going to use that way if they become damaged or lost you will not have to worry about the cost of replacing them. Good luck

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Unless there's a darned good reason the residents should be having access to whatever they want, to restrict access to books or information seems ridiculous to me.

 

I have read 2 or 3 books every week for years and imagine even if I was confused and could no longer read properly I would need a book pile by my bedside- they have been such a big part of my life!

 

Yes, with open access to any materials you will occasionally get a problem like the paranoid lady, but that lady would have a problem anyway- the problem is the paranoia not the causes of it. You can't eliminate every cause...

 

In nursing homes there is sometimes not enough open materials left lying around so that a resident can do their own thing: people assume it'll make a mess or extra work or look untidy, but I see always that the people are more content and settled where there are pets, plants, baskets of yarn, ornaments, pictures, puzzles etc. that they can make their own unstructured activities out of when there are no structured activities going on.

 

It's not what is meaningful to us- it's what is meaningful to the resident which counts!

People have spent their lives looking for little things to do or look at, and if suddenly there's nothing there to do it must add to confusion.

 

All the seniors I meet enjoy reading or being read to on some level, and almost every nursing home I have been in has a supply of books & magazines that residents and visitors can use freely, I cannot imagine why your administrator would think otherwise.

 

I'm always delighted when people show me they are still reading, or ask me to read to them, it definitely enhances level of function and quality of life. I tell jokes and stories the whole time in my music sessions, the people expect it and enjoy it and I get a huge participation. It's very easy to think because someone has impaired memory function it's across the board- I've had more fun than any other time in my life with some of the seniors who can be difficult or unresponsive for some of the time. People need normal activities even if some of them aren't quite seen the same way any more!

 

Proof: the New England Journal of Medicine did a study about 5 years ago; last year Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago did a study which says it is the lesser brain blood flow as seniors drop activities which actually triggers the onset of Alzheimer's.

 

Since different activities re-route and increase blood flow to different areas of the brain it's very important to keep the brain stimulated in as many ways as possible for as long as possible!

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

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Mornin,

 

When I first saw this post I had to read it a few times. First of all, I have worked in a Alzheimers specific facility and the main thing that I learned about my supplies and the things that I set out for the residents was.....don't get attached to them!

 

Your administrator needs a little insight on the disease process. Books, Magazines, supplies, etc. Are made to be carried, looked at and used. I have never seen a news story about a book related death.

 

 

Chris

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