Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Caregiving: cognitive turning point

Cognitive impairment is the turning point in home caregiving. When reasoning and thinking abilities become faulty the other side of that coin is ‘at risk’. Caring is now faced with custodial accountability for another person … Safety demands you cross this Rubicon. 


One exercise that a neurologist might charge you to administer and analyze is the “animals in a minute test”, asking a patient to name as many animals as possible in 60 seconds. Able minded people “should” be able to name at least 13 animals.


While Patti enjoys herself in this You Tube video it does take her twice that time and the assistance of blatant coaching and hints to successfully name the animals.

Failing to name 13 animals in 60 seconds “could be” an indication of fronto-temporal lobe dementia. That’s a moot point here because in Patti’s specific course of progression of Multiple Sclerosis her frontal lobe and associated functions was an early victim.


MS has ‘invisible symptoms’, this is just about trying to capture and share one of them that most impacts caregiving … and have some fun while living with MS. Laughter is a treatment, even though not FDA certified. 


I want to acknowledge Tammy of Blogger journal The Daily Warrior for reminding me of this particular test and Megan and Jennifer for their 'consultations' and support with this video production.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. this was so cute, Patrick. I 'm glad you shared it with us. I'm sorry Patti's cognitive functions have shown signs of impairment, but to hear her infectious laugh and see that beautiful smile on her equally beautiful face was a precious time for me.

    I thought I heard her say "buffalo" for one of the animals. I'm impressed. I don't think I would have thought of saying that one. She should have gotten double points for it.

  2. Patti has such a fun laugh:) i agree laughter is the best medicine and i am not so sure i could name 13 animals in 60 seconds lol have a good week


  3. ((((((((((((((((HUGSOYOU))))))))))))))))))))what a nice video.She is an amazing person,has a beatiful smile.You are amazing to.I dont know if you give out address,but would love to send you both cards.I hope you have a nice day.

  4. What I think is great about you, Patrick, you handle your situation with laugher. You both are having a blast. Happy Easter to you and Patti and your daughter.


  5. Oh Patrick....Patti is such a joy to watch! I wrote down this test. I will forget it if I didn't write it down. lol :o) I'm going to try it and keep up with the progress. If you only knew how much you and Patti have helped me through these past few weeks. I've came back and watched your video's and re read some entry's. I'm starting to have a hard time with this. I'm finding it very hard to even write in my journal. Thank you Patrick for this journal.

  6. This is absolutely adorable ...  you take caregiving to a whole new level. Are there others like yourself, who still find a sense of humor in this life-changing process? You and Patti both look great and sound great... you have a very nice voice. I see natural teaching skills in your manner. Bea

  7. Hi Patti and "Daddy"~I just loved this so much----grin----I am going to try this test on all my friends--heehee. Figures Tammy would know about it! ;-) D~I have not visited that often, but whenever I do I think, "What a great guy!; Patti is so lucky!" Bet she'd agree with me. Keep up the great work, never stop learning nor laughing! Blessings, Sassy aka. Deb ;-)

  8. .............I COULD not get my speakers to work because they are turned off not to disturb Jack when sleeping.....but watching the faces and reading the lips was good enough,,, and I loved it!

  9. I agree laughter is a sword to fight off many things.  You give Patti a daily dose.  I saw 300 and it was brilliant. Rache


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