Why do people with dementia mistake others for their spouses?

Image from HBO’s The Memory Loss Tapes (still my favorite dementia-related movie) “That’s my husband!” Rory yelled, smacking a nurse’s hand away. “Don’t touch him!” In (our) reality, this nurse was just trying to help Rory’s “husband” get dressed. Oddly enough, however, Rory’s “husband” wasn’t her husband at all…and she was a female resident! Celia, the mistaken husband,Continue reading “Why do people with dementia mistake others for their spouses?”

Where’s my wife?

Arnold was very easy to talk to. He was friendly, had a good sense of humor, and liked to sing along with the music coming over the radio. Arnold, overall, was pretty “with it” for someone with moderate Alzheimer’s. That’s why I was surprised when he wheeled past me and asked, “Have you seen my wife?”  IContinue reading “Where’s my wife?”

Finally, a smile

Joanne didn’t smile much. In fact, I had not seen her really smile about anything at all. She spoke to others, but sparingly, even though it seemed like she wanted attention. Often, Joanne would call out for help to passing caregivers, but as they arrived at her side, she would not tell them what wasContinue reading “Finally, a smile”

8 things to look for in a GREAT dementia activity calendar

Go into any dementia care community and you will find a calendar of events. In many communities, this calendar is pretty lackluster—and that is a shame. Here are some things you should be looking for in a great activity calendar. 1. Different types of events on different days. Monday should not look the same asContinue reading “8 things to look for in a GREAT dementia activity calendar”

“She gets combative sometimes.”

I followed one of the floor nurses around as she introduced me to different residents. I have a technique to learn residents’ names, too: I stand in their dining room and point around the room until I remember everyone’s name and a little fact about them. As we walked the dining room, the nurse pointedContinue reading ““She gets combative sometimes.””

Guilt & Holidays

It’s that time again: the holidays. Your family is in from out of town, and boy, do they have a lot of opinions. The conversation you dread the most, though, is nothing related to politics, religion, or old family dramas—it’s the conversation surrounding your loved one with dementia. “I think mom needs to move backContinue reading “Guilt & Holidays”

If I get dementia…

My list is well over a year old now, and it has been circulated all over the Internet. It originally appeared on Alzheimer’s Reading Room’s website.  What would you want, if YOU got dementia? 1. If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse isContinue reading “If I get dementia…”

How we helped her eat again

A post from earlier this year Louise wasn’t much for sitting down and eating. In fact, she didn’t want to eat at all. Louise spent her lunches following us to her seat, sitting, looking at her food, being fed a bite or two, protesting that she didn’t want more, and then getting back up. AnytimeContinue reading “How we helped her eat again”

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