A Comfy Chair

4

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Mary doesn’t speak much, and when she does, it’s usually in Spanish. That’s okay, though, because our aides can decipher what she needs by her body language.

Mary also uses a wheelchair, but has trouble staying in it. Many times, Mary will lean too far forward and attempt to stand up on her own. 

We tried a number of tactics to keep her occupied and comfortably safe in the wheelchair, but to no avail—she wanted to get up. This had become a serious fall risk for Mary.

Last week, she was sitting in her wheelchair, singing quietly to a baby doll, when I saw her leaning forward pretty far. Her chair was parked next to a more comfortable, high-back rocking chair. 

I helped her out of her wheelchair and into the new chair.

Ever since that day last week, we’ve been helping Mary sit in the comfortable rocking chair between meals. She looks perfectly peaceful in this new chair. She taps her feet on the ground, getting it to rock back and forth, which gives her some exercise. Her new chair is also right next to the “Pet Shop” area I have set up. 

You can now find her sleeping soundly, or singing softly to the Corgie dog I got from Memorable Pets.

Image from Ommayan

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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.

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