The Johnlette Journey...

The Johnlette Journey is my desire to implement a solution for what I have encountered in the medical field when it comes to care for patients of Alzheimer's in an emergency room and hospital situation.

My name is Pam and my father John is 86 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007.

I have been my Dad's primary care giver since 2011 when my Mom passed away.  The problem lies when he needs medical care in a hospital facility.

We need to make hospitals more aware when dealing with Alzheimer’s patients or any patient with neurological problems. In my Dad’s case he cannot give accurate answers to questions, and cannot make rational decisions. Whenever we are in a hospital, every person from the one drawing blood to the person serving his meal will ask him his name and date of birth. In my Dad's case he can answer this with no problem. But ask him what day of the week it is or what year it is, and he is lost.

My father was a VERY brilliant man before this disease attacked him and in my eyes he always will be. It breaks my heart every time I need to repeat over and over again in front of my Dad, "He has Alzheimer's, he can not respond accurately." I hope in his heart he knows I am not trying to take away his pride!
 

To state just a few incidents that my Dad & I have been through.
 

  • A lab tech asked my Dad, “We are checking your arms for blood clots”, his response was "OK." He needed the scan done on his legs!
     
  • A nurse asked him, "Do you get out of bed and walk around during the day", his response was "No I’m fine.” So he spent the day confined to his hospital bed!
     
  • A nurse asked him, "Have you had any surgeries"; his answer was "No." Wrong!
     
  • A X-ray tech asked him, "Are you diabetic"; his answer was "No." He is, and if he had an insulin pump, it needed to be removed before the x-ray was done.
     
  • We have been lucky that these incidents have not had disastrous results.
      
  • All of these scenarios are not acceptable, and I am beginning to understand how they could have happened.

Every Alzheimer’s patient has a different degree of the disease and no two display the same struggles. The use of family members need to be relied upon when dealing with this type of patient, so that each patient’s special needs can be met.

The answer is a simple one!!

Whenever anyone is admitted to a hospital bracelets are put on their wrist to indicated allergies, etc.

I want a bracelet put on each and every patient with Alzheimer's or Dementia. This gives ALL involved in his/her care that this person has special needs and if necessary the patient's chart should be read for additional instructions.

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If you would like to show your support for this cause, custom silicone wristbands are available.
Please send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope with $.49 postage attached to;

The Johnlette Journey

Attn: Pam Tripaldi
PO Box 247
Walnutport, PA 18088
A $1.00 cash donation for the cost of the bracelet is also appreciated.
(NO checks please, this is not a for/not for profit business with any bank accounts)

Thank you. xxoo


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Update 04/19/16

Michelle Feil, the Senior Patient Safety Analyst with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority appeared on Smart Talk on Tues. 4/19/16 regarding "Dementia not recognized".

(
Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3. )

This was a great interview which gave much insight into her recent report.
Click on the picture below to go to the link to hear this interview.
(when you get to the link, click the arrow to play)





Update 03/30/16

The Philadelphia Inquirer has published a follow up article regarding the PA Patient Safety suggestions.
Click on the picture below to read the article by Stacey Burling from March 28, 2016, page 2.





Update 03/16/16

The PA Patient Safety Advisory has published an article on dementia which references my journey for better patient care, click on the picture below to read this VERY comprehensive article.


http://patientsafetyauthority.org/ADVISORIES/AdvisoryLibrary/2016/Mar;13(1)/Pages/01.aspx


As always your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated. XXOO


Update 09/30/15:

To all that follow my blog, thank you again for all the support and input you are sending my way.

I am saddened to say that my Dad passed peacefully on Sept. 19, 2015. He will be loved and remembered by all that touched his life.

My journey continues and I will continue to get word out about my cause.

I recently was interviewed for an article that will be written by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Their mission is to addresses the patient safety needs of Pennsylvania’s healthcare community to better protect patients.

I am very excited about this upcoming article, confident that it will bring more awareness. The tentative Dec. 2015 article title is “Family Members Advocate for Improved Identification of Patients with Dementia in the Acute Care Setting”.  The title says it all!

I am also reaching out to local Alzheimer’s Walks asking for the opportunity to briefly speak about my journey. 

I am asking for others to PLEASE post or contact me at info@johnlette.com with your personal encounters. This will help further the need for better care for all afflicted with neurological disorders.

Thank you. XXOO


Update 03/2015:

THANK YOU to all that have emailed me with their suggestions and ideas, you are all GREAT.

I did hear from a local hospital that is in the process of developing a new program targeted at dementia patients. I was asked to share my experiences and thoughts and willingly agreed to offer my input.

I have learned a lot in this journey…

First the purple bracelet, which was my original choice because it it the color for the Alzheimer's Assoc., is already in use by hospitals and it is to indicate DNR.

So I am changing it to a black bracelet. Why…

Alzheimer’s is a disease that is dark, fearful and lonely to the patient, family members and care givers. The color black implies all of this. It also brings to mind the POW and MIA flag, which like our loves ones, are lost but never forgotten.

As awful as this disease is we know that when God calls our loved ones, this darkness will disappear. In the end when the light appears, black become white, the color of new beginnings.

Second, my objectives have changed.

Apparently the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of PA  (HAP) has a Wristband Standardization Project that was established under Act 13 of 2002. I will reach out to this organizations to inquire about the possibility of implementing the black bracelet.

I need to get the Alzheimer’s Association involved to inform the public about the need for this and to create more participation in my journey.

I would also like to stress that I do not view my journey as being the fault of any particular medical personnel. I have the highest regard for anyone involved in this profession. It is a need for those involved and not privy to a patient’s medical records to be fully informed of a patient’s situation so that they may get the best care available.

If you wish to be kept up to date about my blog, sign up for the Johnlette Newsletter and please pass this blog onto others, I can use all the help offered.

XXOO


Update 11/18/14:

Here is where I need help. I am not in the medical field and my experience is limited to the patient end. I do not know where I can purchase this type of bracelet, what would be acceptable to hospital standards and whom in each hospital would make the decision of implementing this. I live in the Lehigh Valley in PA, we have many hospitals, (all of which I have been to with my Dad over the years.) I am willing to go to each and every hospital in my area and discuss this with the correct contact person, I will even pay for the bracelets to get started.

I would also like to get the Alzheimer's Association involved to educate the public and endorse this idea.

If you have any suggestions or wish to share your experiences to help me in my journey, send me an email at info@johnlette.com

Below are samples of the type of
bracelet that I am interested in.




~PLEASE post your comments or own personal encounters ~
~CLICK HERE to print out my brochure for distribution ~
THANK YOU!!