I'm Not Old Like These People.

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

“I’ve made a mistake. I came here once to visit this place with all of the elderly people, but I don’t want to be here anymore. All these old people live here,” Mary* whispered to me.

Many of my residents do not know how old they are. Every once in a while, Mary will become very agitated and demand to go “home” to her parents. 

“My mother will be very worried about me,” she’ll say. “She doesn’t know that I’m here.”

Mary is in her early 90s. Her parents have been dead for decades, but she does not believe that she is anywhere over the age of 25. She will look up and see all of the “elderly people” around her, and she’ll become confused, wondering why she’s there.

Here’s what you don’t want to do in this situation: remind her that she’s 93 and living in a dementia care community.

Meet her at her level and engage her in her reality. 

“That’s okay, Mary,” I replied, touching her hand. “I know it’s strange to spend time with all these old people. I’ll call your mom and let her know that you’re here.”

“Oh, that would be wonderful, thank you,” she sighed with relief.

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!