This advice is predicated on the assumption that every caregiver has the financial and community resources and family/friend networks necessary to leave their charge for hours at a time to "reproduce" their own energy and well-being. It's notable that almost none of the writers or websites suggest how the caregiver might actually do this self-reproduction in the absence of lots of money, adequate daycare facilities and family or buddies.
The hospital case worker and the attending physician may insist that I let them put him in a nursing home on the impoverished south side of the city. It's based in an old motel that looks like a rabbit warren. Or in another, where a dysentery-like disease sweeps through periodically. And I will resist, stand my ground for my husband and incur their hostility. But it's my job to see that Pat gets the best care possible. Until that's available, he's safe and comfortable where he is and still making progress in recovering sound sleep and a calm alertness. That's enough for me. I hope it's enough for Medicare to continue paying the bills.
Pat certainly isn't the only relatively young, ambulatory and healthy-from-the-neck-down dementia patient in the United States. Many thousands fall through a hundred holes in the safety net. These cases are where reality bites in national healthcare reform. I hope you'll join me in talking to your Congress-people about real systemic change and compassionate services for former producers and current reproducers. Changes are afoot and, though they may not help the current generation of dementia patients, I do believe we'll see transformations in treatment and care in our lifetime.