Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating Life...
HOME

Mom Serves Dementia Residents



Last week, I introduced you to Tish and Joe Griffin, mother and son, of Destin, Florida. (They first read this column in the Walton (FL) Sun.) If you remember, Joe in 1998 at age 2 accidentally tumbled off a bed while watching TV and became paralyzed from the shoulders down, with the exception of some leg and torso movement. Tish over the next 15 or so years was his around-the-clock caregiver. Today, 21-year-old Joe lives on campus and attends the University of West Florida, all while having a tracheotomy, ventilator, and power wheelchair.

Tish said over the telephone, "When caring for Joe, I felt like I was always running a marathon. I tried staying on an even keel, but my senses became magnified. I remember after his injury, when they put in his tracheotomy, you could see his facial expressions, but you couldn't hear him cry. There wasn't any sound. So I had to become very observant of his body, his coloring, and of what was going on with him. I became part of Joe's body."

Those skills she learned over many years of caregiving eventually would help others. Tish now is resident program coordinator for an assisted living facility for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. As the "director of fun" for 30 people, she keeps people engaged in life and pointed towards a purpose, which, in part, helps slow down the dementia process.

Her work with Joe has helped her become more sensitive to the body language of residents, the needs of their family members, and the value of their lives.

As for the latter, she said, "For example, when Joe and I would be out in public, some people might speak to him slowly as if he were mentally impaired. Then they would have a conversation and realize that he was (bright). Joe has achieved many things in life, and the residents I've been honored to be with also have achieved many things. We are all people and we all have wonderful life stories."

She said Joe was an optimist because she had raised him as one, and that same trait in her also has brought optimism to her dementia residents. She said showing joy often can bring "healing." Finally, she added, "I've always been a very patient person, but after being Joe's caregiver, I've (mastered) the art of being very skilled at being very patient, which helps me at my job."


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Campgrounds Open Along Middle Fork of American RiverAUBURN, Calif. - With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, the United States Forest Service has announced the opening of campgrounds at French Meadows and Hell Hole Reservoirs

Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.26.17)Roseville, CA- Summary digest of Roseville Police selected activity log covering the period of May 19- 26, 2017.

2017 Acura MDX: classy and versatileRoseville, CA- Now in its eighth year of production by Honda's luxury division, the 2017 Acura MDX is a midsize luxury crossover SUV that is appealing for a variety of reasons.

2017 PlacerArts Summer Concert SeriesAuburn, CA- The annual and free Auburn Summer Concert Series returns for another season beginning June 11, 2017

Affordable Housing Fee Workshops in Auburn and Kings BeachAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County has scheduled two housing fee study workshops in June, one in Kings Beach and another in Auburn

USA Fastpitch Competition in South Placer County this JuneRocklin, CA --USA Fastpitch is coming to Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin June 2-4 for three days of softball competition.

City of Roseville's $507 Million Proposed Operating BudgetRoseville, CA- The City of Roseville's proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 is available for review

San Juan Water District Receives Excellence in Financial Reporting AwardGranite Bay, Calif. - The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded the San Juan Water District

Sports Stars Join Rocklin Golf Fundraiser at Whitney OaksHall of Famer Willie Brown, Jim Plunkett, Daryle Lamonica, Charles Woodson, Phil Villapiano, Rod Martin and several more Oakland Raiders headline a dazzling field

Silversun Pickups Summer Tour with Third Eye BlindFollowing their upcoming BottleRock Napa Valley performance, this summer, Silversun Pickups will embark on a 30-date amphitheater tour opening for Third Eye Blind. The "Summer Gods" Tour celebrates Third Eye Blind's 20th anniversary

Garland Ranch Regional Park: Tranquility in Monterey CountyCarmel Valley, California - The "granddaddy" of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Garland Ranch is a fine elder statesman of parks.

Roseville Firefighters Union Blast City's Proposed Staffing CutsRoseville, Calif. - With rising temperatures and fire season upon us, city leaders in Roseville have proposed drastic staffing cuts to the Roseville Fire Department


more news