Latte

RACHAEL PODCAST COVER – Season 4

Don’t miss the next live event!


Join us on our next live event! There are always live Q&A sessions or new webinars to learn from. Click here to sign up

Betta spoke only Italian, which was challenging, because no one else at the dementia care community spoke any Italian.

She had come over from Italy as a child, and had learned English quickly. But, as her dementia progressed, Betta had lost her grasp on the English language.

My Spanish isn’t great, but I know enough to have a conversation. Spanish and Italian have some similarities, but not nearly enough that I could always understand Betta.

Betta had no idea that no one understood her. I realized quickly that she loved the baby dolls, and enjoyed spending time in the nursery that I had set up for our residents.

Betta sat with me in the nursery, bouncing the baby doll on her knee. She smiled and sang to it in Italian.

Inspired, I reached for the empty baby bottle and handed it to Betta. She said something in Italian and took off the bottle’s cap. Betta placed the bottle in her mouth and seemed to be trying to test the temperature of the non-existent liquid inside.

“Hmmm,” she muttered, looking at the bottle. “Latte?” she asked me.

“Milk!” I cried ecstatically. “You said ‘milk’,” I whispered, mostly to myself. I was thrilled that I had understood her.

We may speak different languages, but we connected over this mutual understanding and her love for the baby doll.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

rachael photo

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two 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!

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