GEMS in Crisis – Staying Alive – Amber and Emerald
By: Teepa Snow - a preview excerpt from the April Online Dementia Journal in a time of need
People living in the Amber and Emerald states will have abilities, interests, and changes in ability that place them in a higher risk category than their peers without dementia. This will may create many challenges and difficulties for them, their house or lodging mates, and those providing support and care due to the common symptoms that involve movement patterns, activity preferences, space and engagement habits and routines, and an inability to practice social distancing or perform intimate or personal tasks and actions without guidance or support from within the splash zone.
As a matter of fact, this is the population at higher risk for expanding the typical splash zone to greater distances and in in more unexpected or surprising ways. It will take innovative and creative partners and care providers to manage both the person’s risk, their own risk, and the risk for others in the immediate and surrounding spaces and places. For people in these states, who are strong connectors or controllers, restrictions on movement or activity, or interactions could well trigger an intense need for exactly what is being denied them as part of their primitive brain’s belief that they can only survive if they can do what they believe needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
There is not logic model that will solve this challenge. It will take truly Sapphire team members who are getting enough rest, restoration, moments of joy, social connections that they need, and belief that what they are doing has intense value and purpose. On added element is that these providers must have an assurance that while they provide this vital service, those in other parts of their life and world are safe, well cared for, and comforted in their absence. Despite all of this hard work, it is truly probable that a large number of these individuals will also develop significant systems and will have a higher mortality rate.
So, preparing for the possibility of making hard decisions and choices regarding comfort and supportive care versus attempts at curing COVID-19 for this group will also be a major concern to begin to address, before rather than in a time of personal crisis.
"Until there's a cure, there's care." - Teepa Snow
Accurate for dementia AND COVID-19