The Thing About Averages

A lot of people put a lot of stock into the average of anything.  But usually the  type of average isn’t mentioned nor the delta.

I looked up the average life expectancy for a dementia patient earlier tonight.

For a man over 90, it is 4.5 years.

Gpa has already surpassed that number.

In January 2013, he will have lived with Dementia for 6 years.

Yay, Gpa!

But that means someone else died within the first year or so after diagnosis.

The average sets up an expectation.  So for the family that lost their loved one after a year or two, the loss would have been more of a shock.  They were planning on more time.

For us, some care givers have already given up on Gpa.  The last dementia care home I had him in wanted to put him on Hospice a few months before he was 99.  It did not make sense to me to put a man who was walking and talking and feeding himself on Hospice.

The reply was, “He’s 100 and losing weight.”

I didn’t put him on Hospice, I quit my job and brought him home.

My back hurts and I’m so tired I don’t know if I left the front door wide open while we were at church or if I opened the door when we got home and went back to the car Gpa.  (Nothing was missing so I guess it doesn’t matter.)  I get so frustrated, I yell more than I would like.

However, I will never regret this time I took to be with Gpa.

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  • catterel  On December 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Loving care and a routine do make a difference – I see it with my Mom, whose vascular dementia is not so advanced as Gpa’s and in fact since I’ve been with her (she was on her own till she was 95) she has vastly improved. I put that down simply to having company and being treated as a human being, not to any virtue on my part. I hope you get the things you ordered, too.

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