"As Alzheimer's disease progresses, the need to nurture, love and be loved increases." American Assoc Geriatric Psychiatrists


Stuffed Animals for Geriatric Patients

Thank you very much for your donation of 6 pets.  We did received them from the Hospital Foundation soon after their arrival. 

After all the staff enjoyed to look at them we have started to include them in our distribution program.  We gave out our first one today and had excellent results.

On a funny note, our social worker was carrying one of the long-haired dogs donated and a hospital administrator came up to see why an unauthorized animal was being brought to the hospital by staff.

The patient who received it enjoyed it very much as well.

Anthony Arslan, DO, CAQGM

Observer Reporter Alzheimer's Series: Rudy and Judy Keron

In the sixth part of their series documenting and reporting the challenges of dementia and Alzheimer's personally faced by families, Observer Reporter looks at the life of Rudy Keron, age 74, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's seven years ago. In Rudy's case the disease progressed rapidly, and he soon lacked the ability to speak, brush his teeth, or recognize family members.

For five of these seven years post-diagnosis, Keron's wife Judy, took care of him herself in their home in Washington before finally deciding to move him to the Washington County Health Center in 2012.

"'I was in denial when we got the diagnosis,' said Judy. 'I took Rudy to Pittsburgh for additional tests at Allegheny General Hospital and had CAT scans sent to them, but the doctors said the prognosis was right. But you grasp at straws, you look for any other explanation that you can.'" (source)

Four of Rudy Keron's sisters also died as a result of Alzheimer's, however Judy Keron relayed that, despite this, they had never had a discussion about the disease in the 32 years they had known one another.

Rudy now hardly speaks, but carries a stuffed animal around with him frequently for comfort. He was once a combat photographer in Vietnam, and loved music, woodworking, and drawing.

His wife Judy knew nothing of Alzheimer's before her husband's diagnosis, and continues to read pamphlets and scour the internet for any information she can find on the disease, but is very careful about misleading material that can often become disheartening. "'Sometimes it gives a sense of hope, and that's the worst thing, for them to make you think it can get better. It's not going to get better for him.'"

Read more: Alzheimer's: “If you have a brain, you're at risk”