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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

Patient FilesAbout Fred Friendly SeminarsFred Friendly Seminars
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Vincent Cacciapaglio
Betty Garrett
Pat Coley
Kashaye Gladden
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Betty Garrett's Day Book

James gets Betty up at 7 a.m. He lifts her into her wheelchair (she weighs about 100 pounds) and takes her for a morning changing and bath, which take about 30 minutes. James then settles Betty into her La-Z-Boy recliner in the living room. He props her up with pillows and turns on the television. "Sometimes it seems like she's looking at the TV -- I know she's hearing something -- but most of the time she's just looking off," says James. He feeds her a pureed meal and gives her vitamin and estrogen tablets. Betty's spoon-feedings typically take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. At 2 p.m., there's a snack for lunch, and then James takes Betty in to lie down for about two hours, and he takes a mid-day break.

After the nap, James checks to see if Betty needs changing, and then lifts her back to her chair. Hospice care comes in to bathe her three times a week, and a nurse visits Betty twice a week to see how the disease is progressing. "We take care of her the rest of the time," says James. For supper, Betty usually has a frozen dinner, heated in a microwave oven and pureed. After a little bit of time for digestion, Betty is changed and given tranquilizing and anti-aggressiveness medications before bedtime at 8 p.m. James, who goes to bed at 9 p.m., checks in on Betty twice each night, at midnight and 3 a.m., straightening her out in bed if necessary.
Q&A
Question and answer with James Garrett
Resources
The Alzheimer's Association
One of the largest voluntary organizations studying the disease and providing support to caregivers.

Alzheimer Europe
Providing resources on dementia, the site has been translated into eleven languages.

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