Don’t Cry in Front of the Baby

Sandra was known for sundowning. Most days, Sandra would start crying around 3 PM.  “Sundowning” is a common phenomenon for people with dementia. Essentially, it means that people will become more agitated, upset, and irritable later in the day—usually because they are tired. “He’s no good!” she cried out. “He’s a no-good, son-of-a-bitch!” she sobbed.  “Sandra,Continue reading “Don’t Cry in Front of the Baby”

She Remembered Me.

I walked through the doors of an unfamiliar dementia care community, looking for a resident who had moved from our location. I was afraid she wouldn’t remember me. I was sad, too, because I missed seeing her face when I went to work. It just wasn’t the same. She had loved living in our community.Continue reading “She Remembered Me.”

The Woman Who Wouldn’t Sit Down.

“She’ll sit down on couches, in a chair, wherever—but I cannot get her to sit down on the toilet!” one of our Resident Assistants, Brittany, sighed in our morning meeting. “Susannah gets really stiff and tries to hold her pants up,” she continued. Susannah is incredibly pleasant, but she is also in a moderately advancedContinue reading “The Woman Who Wouldn’t Sit Down.”

Reorienting.

“He already thought his wife was dead, but that he was missing her funeral…so I just explained to him that she’s been dead for years.” I cannot emphasize this enough in memory care: do not try to “reorient” the person you are caring for. This is one of the hardest concepts to explain to someoneContinue reading “Reorienting.”

I’m going home now.

Many of our residents receive visitors on a regular basis. It’s nice to see them interact with daughters, sons, grandchildren, and even spouses. The trouble occurs when family members don’t know how to say goodbye when the visit ends. I’ve watched numerous family members (especially spouses) say to their loved one, “Okay, I’m going home.”Continue reading “I’m going home now.”

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