Brought to you by Acology, Inc.
by Jack Rein
Want to hear a great story? I want to introduce you to a friend. Her name is Jean Paule. I love Jean. She’s 84 years old this month. She is a strong, fearless Scotswoman who immigrated to the US when she was young, raised 4 great kids, went to school and had a career in the tech industry before it was known as the tech industry and played golf to a 5 handicap. She and her beloved husband, Les, travelled the world, loved to eat exotic food and made friends in far-off countries. They retired onto a golf course and kept active, doting on their increasing number of grandchildren and loving their life. After all, isn’t that what life is about
But the last couple of years has been tough for Jean. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year shortly after she lost her husband, Les. Watching her withdraw from a very active life has been tough to watch. Her daughter, Lisa, is my next door neighbor. Jean lives with Lisa now. Jean also made it perfectly clear that she wanted to live, to be surrounded by family, to be loved as long as people loved her. We all gathered around and made her life as happy as we could.
She loved to eat out, but as it became more difficult for her to travel she’d come over to our house, which we referred to as ‘The Restaurant’ and made her a special place at her ‘private’ table. She would talk about Scotland and golf. She’d talk about boyfriends that she’d had and how she loved to travel. We told her that she needed to keep eating, keep her strength up, so that we could all go back to Scotland with her and she could show us the magic places where she had been raised as a ‘wee girl’.
The whole time her disease continued to slowly progress, robbing her quietly and surely of the loving, lovely person she was. So when Jean stopped eating we thought we would soon be losing her. Agitation quickly followed and medications that might have calmed Jean down a little went untaken. She began to quickly drop weight. Lisa tried giving her liquid supplements without success. Nothing tasted good except, occasionally, Jean’s favorite chocolate pudding.
Now Jean was in almost constant pain. What little communication she was capable of slipped away. She was agitated and slept poorly, if at all. It is a miserable experience to watch someone you love go through this horrible process. Sometimes it seems as if a cruel trick is being played on the entire family. Grandma is still grandma, but she’s not. You hope and pray every day for even a small glimmer of things the way they were. Instead, the day’s grind into each other until little is left of dignity or hope.
With little to lose, we tried something radical. We started using a device called a MedTainer to grind the medication that she needed to control her pain and slipped it into her chocolate pudding. The result was in a word, astounding.
She swallowed a pureed meal an hour later. In the coming days her calorie intake improved dramatically. Since her pain was controlled she began to relax and sleep better. Within the first several months that we started using the MedTainer to grind her meds, she gained 14 pounds. She speaks, occasionally now, in full sentences. Sometimes she recognizes visitors. A window has opened for us to once again tell her how much we love her and hear once again that she loves us. The window will close soon, but the short reprieve allowed us once more to bask in the sunlight of pure, inspiring familial love. It was a gift of inestimable value.
Although it wasn’t simply The MedTainer that brought about these changes, its utility and ease-of-use certainly impacted her life, and the lives of the people who care for her. And after all, if you love someone, isn’t that the point?
You can order the MedTainer here: www.Acologyinc.com
And you can see a brief video of the Dell-Simpson Method of Medication Organization for RCFEs below: