Red Roses…for a Blue Lady

dementia by day ekit

Get Dementia By Day's most popular eKit

Check out our most popular item, the Embracing Their Reality(TM) eKit and find out why we took the time to get the phrase trademarked! Learn what makes Rachael Wonderlin different from any other dementia educator out there. Also available: the new Embracing Their Reality(TM) downloadable graphic, only in the eStore! Click the graphic or visit "Shop" above!

“I found my thrill…” I started.

“On blueberry hill,” the group answered.

It is astounding what the brain can recall, even when that brain is damaged by dementia. My residents love playing “Finish Line Sayings,” which is a game where I read the first part of a lyric or popular saying and they fill in the blank. Decades have passed since they’ve heard these songs, but somehow, in the deep recesses of their minds, the lyrics remain, untouched by time or brain damage.

I sat with a group of residents, reading out these sayings, one after another. Some sayings were obviously more well-known than others. I could tell what was more popular by how many people answered each line.

“Red roses for…” I asked.

“A blue lady!” Vera, Susan, and Karen called in unison. 

David sat quietly, back and neck hunched forward in his wheelchair. He had not answered any of the lyrics, but I did not expect him to. David typically does not say much. It is as though, while other residents are engaged, David is often off in another world. 

He did not seem to be listening. Maybe he doesn’t understand the game, I thought to myself.

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I got…” I began.

“What?” Karen asked. “Hang on, hmmm,” Vera said, touching her fingers to her forehead in thought. 

My other residents were silent. I repeated the lyric.

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I got…”

“A gal in Kalamazoo,” David answered quietly, eyes still closed.

“That’s right, great job, David,” I said, surprised. 

He did not respond.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

rachael photo

Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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

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.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart