THIS MONTH’S PROFESSIONALS

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychology

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and the author of the book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers—Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent (Guilford, 2006). As a clinician, he specializes in helping families cope with serious and chronic medical illnesses. As an educator, he works as the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, PA and has had adjunct faculty positions with the Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Department of Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Latonya Law

Dr. Latonya Law

Family Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Latonya Law is a Family Nurse Practitioner, board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Credentialing Center (AANCC) and licensed by the state of Georgia. She is devoted to the advancement of medicine and contributes by holding memberships to the American Nurses Association, Black Nurses Rock, and Georgia Nurses Association.

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This Month’s Questions & Answers

  • KimBach1234
    KimBach1234, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "I am studying pre-nursing now. I plan to apply for a job as a CNA in a couple of months. My current concern is my husband. He knew he had high blood pressure 2 years ago. He is 45 years old and he is a drinker. On average, he has 4 - 6 beers per day. He has gained a lot of weight due to his drinking habit and no physical activity. Now, he is going for Keto diet for the hope of losing weight, and he does not let me to cook for him. He complains that my cooking is to plain to eat. His Keto has full of of fat and meats. I am really concerned about his condition. He is very stubborn. I do not know what to do to help him."

    A.

    Your husband is very fortunate that you cook for him and care so much about him. I understand your concern for his health; he does drink too much and is looking for short-cuts for losing weight. Unfortunately, though, I feel sure that the more you pressure him, the more he is likely to dig in his heels and defy you. The best way for you to wield influence, therefore, may be to praise him for any step he takes toward greater health—including the Keto diet—and not fuss with him too much about other things he should be doing. Recommend—but don’t push him—to see his primary care provider. Let that trained professional (not you) work with him on making better lifestyle choices—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

  • Walker2019
    Walker2019, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "My Mom had a massive stroke today while she was in rehab recovering from what the Dr.'s believed was a mini stroke. The entire left side of her brain was affected and part of her right. The Dr explained in detail her grim diagnosis. The only thing the hospital staff can do is try to keep her as comfortable as possible. My Mom has been living with me for the past 15 years. She's not only my Mom she's my best friend. I informed the Dr. if there is no chance of recovery then I wanted a DNR added to her chart. They also removed the feeding tube they put in her and most of the other tubes as well upon my request. I told the Dr. I wanted Mom to come home with me and to have her placed on hospice care. This has occurred in less than 24 hours. My main question is how do I give her some food when she is completely unresponsive? Should I give her Gerber custard pudding or the like? A little bit added to her tongue for her to taste? I am completely out of my depth here and need any advice you can give. She made it clear to me years ago she would rather be dead than to be put in a nursing home to waste away. Please help me."

    A.

    Feeding someone who does seek food or indicate hunger is difficult. Thankfully, the body converts from sugar to ketones for energy and hunger subsides. If your mother had favorite tastes, introducing a small amount to the tip or side of her tongue may be pleasurable. Wetting a mouth applicator with a favorite taste may also suffice. Hospice care will help you provide your mother with excellent care and fulfill her wishes to die at home. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna

  • DoraWilliams
    DoraWilliams, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Hello my name isDora my husband had a mini stroke just needed to talk with wives that been or going through with spouse. Need support I’m sad all the time about his recovery"

    A.

    Dora, your instincts are very good. Reaching out to others who have had similar experiences is an excellent way to better cope with your feelings of sadness and fear. The Support Network is an excellent place to find those others. I trust that you have already had some comforting and informative conversations with wives who are online here.
    A few of my own thoughts about your situation: Even though mini-strokes often leave little permanent damage, they shake people up terribly. Suddenly all sense of safety is stripped away. The aftermath is certainly a time for sadness. But, strangely, it is also a time for gratitude. As I’m sure your doctors have told you, mini-strokes are warning signs to heed to prevent a bigger stroke from occurring. You and your husband are lucky in a way; you have the opportunity now to change your lifestyles, live healthier, and reduce the likelihood of further misfortune. I feel sure the two of you will use this chance well.
    Thank you, Dr. Barry Jacobs

  • Carla92
    Carla92, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "My husband had a massive stroke what can I expect when he comes home from tehab"

    A.

    Every stroke is different. After a massive stroke, many of the survivor’s prior skills of daily living are impaired or lost. Health care professional with training in stroke recovery include physicians, nurses and therapists. This team often plans for an individual’s return home with the entire family in mind. A home visit to inventory space to accommodate equipment and adapt the living area often precedes the patient’s discharge. After discharge, visits from nurses, therapists and sometimes physicians continue to occur. If the stroke survivor has difficulties with the home environment additional adaptations can be made. Eventually, re-integration into the community socially should occur. If emotional difficulties of either the stroke survivor or a member of their family arises, care should be sought from mental health professionals. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna

  • TinaStier
    TinaStier, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "My husband had a massive stroke and one of his cognitive disabilities is that he no longer understands time. He can tell you what time it says on a clock but if he has a doctor appointment at 4pm and I bathe him and get him dressed at 8am he thinks we need to leave at that time. Telling him that it isn’t for 8 hrs he will say but I like being early. Do others deal with this and if so are there things I can do to help him better understand?"

    A.

    Time awareness is a distributed acquired attribute of cognition. Stroke, tumors, degenerative brain disorders can all impair that skill. Time awareness, linked to memory and attention are together often affected. Unfortunately, a clear means to correct this malady does not exist. Perhaps, frequent reminders of the time until the event may ease the angst surrounding his fear of being late. Alternatively, not announcing an event until it is nearly at hand would limit the time for angst. Thank you for this question, Dr. Hanna

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