The Memory Care Cat

I did something this week that I’ve been hoping to do for a while: I picked out a cat for our Memory Care Neighborhood at work. The executive director of our community met me at the local animal shelter to help find the right cat. Immediately upon entering the “cat room,” I saw a sign forContinue reading “The Memory Care Cat”

An Imaginary Marriage

“Henry! Get your keys, we gotta go!” “I can’t find my keys, Irene! Where did you put them!” “I didn’t put your keys anywhere! Where did you lose them!” They argued like a married couple, but they were not actually married. Jeff and Ellen were two of my residents who believed that they had beenContinue reading “An Imaginary Marriage”

Is This For Me?

I handed Helen one of the stuffed dogs from our new Pet Shop area. I knew how much she enjoyed the baby dolls we had, so I hoped that she would also like the dogs. “Ohh,” she cried with delight, opening her arms to accept the stuffed dog.  “Is this dog for me? Can IContinue reading “Is This For Me?”

Easy Bathing.

I walked into one of our “Spa Rooms” to wash my hands. It’s one of three rooms where we help our residents take baths or showers.  I paused and looked around. No wonder no residents want to bathe in here, I thought. It looks like a hospital bathroom! Think about your bathroom at home. You’veContinue reading “Easy Bathing.”

A Marriage.

A lot of people fear that their spouse or life partner will get dementia. Many people are already coping with it. It’s incredibly hard to watch someone you love struggle with cognitive decline. But what if you both had dementia? Martin* and Joyce* have been married for over fifty years. They both have dementia, butContinue reading “A Marriage.”

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.”

I’m Not Old Like These People.

“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 becomeContinue reading “I’m Not Old Like These People.”

Community College.

Our nurse stopped by my office around lunchtime. “William* is really irritated this morning,” she said. “He keeps saying that he has sign up for community college classes, and he’s apparently been asking people about it all day!” William is in his 80s, has dementia, cannot ambulate without assistance, and definitely cannot sign up forContinue reading “Community College.”

My Shadow.

One of my residents, Vera*, was laughing so hard that tears were brimming at the corners of her eyes. She dabbed them away with a tissue and tried hard not to continue laughing.  “He’s following you around,” she said, pointing to the man behind me. Charles* stood there quietly, not two feet away. “Where areContinue reading “My Shadow.”

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