SOLVE their fear of water

I had a reader write in recently and ask me about her grandfather’s fear of water. Although it had started with the shower, the problem had migrated to even brushing his teeth. He was afraid of the water in the sink, not just the water from the shower faucet! She asked how they could solve this issue,Continue reading “SOLVE their fear of water”

Anosognosia: What is it?

Usually, when I meet people with dementia, they are already in a moderate or advanced stage of the disease process. Most of my experience working in dementia care has been in care community settings, so residents are often not moved into our care until they get to the point where families struggle for provide theContinue reading “Anosognosia: What is it?”

The elevator engineer

Neil was in an early-moderate stage of dementia. He was also fairly young (late 60s) and broad-shouldered. Neil didn’t have much family, but the family he did have were his old coworkers. Like many men of a certain generation, Neil was not interested in doing the usual “activities” we provided at the community. Singing, entertainers, artsContinue reading “The elevator engineer”

Finding Calm in Repetitive Questions

Like many people with dementia, Lucille had a “phrase” that she used often. Well, it wasn’t so much a “phrase” as it was a line of questioning that she asked every 10-20 minutes.  “HEY!” she’d call, whenever she saw me. “What time of day is it?” or “HEY! What day of the week is it?”  Fortunately for Lucille (and,Continue reading “Finding Calm in Repetitive Questions”

5 Tips: Visit your loved one and leave without a fight

Beverly and her husband stood at the doorway of the care community, pointing fingers (literally) and arguing.  “What do you mean, you’re ‘going home!’” she cried. “I’m coming with you!”  “No,” Beverly’s husband argued back. “You live here now!” We’ve all seen this same type of fight a million times, but how can you avoid it? 1. Don’tContinue reading “5 Tips: Visit your loved one and leave without a fight”

10 Steps to Making a Dementia Care Plan

So, things got hectic quickly. Your loved one started acting different. Maybe he or she started losing items around the house. Perhaps they began having mood-related issues. And…guess what else? You don’t have a plan for how to handle any of this. Good news: here’s a step-by-step “what do we do now” plan: Start by gettingContinue reading “10 Steps to Making a Dementia Care Plan”

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Connecting with those who have aphasia

Aphasia is a disorder that causes someone to lose the ability to speak, or to have difficulty speaking. It is not uncommon for people with dementia have aphasia. One of my favorite things is when someone with aphasia speaks to me. It happens every once in a while. I’ve had a few residents with aphasia,Continue reading “Connecting with those who have aphasia”

How your vision and perception changes in dementia

About a month ago, I put a vinyl decal of a bookshelf over one of our doors in Memory Care. It was a test, in my mind, to see if we could prevent residents from trying to exit through the door. I’m happy to report that the bookshelf decal absolutely has worked. While a coupleContinue reading “How your vision and perception changes in dementia”

The Parrot Speaks Spanish

Belinda was ecstatic. “He’s talking to me!” she cried out in Spanish. Belinda was talking about her new best friend—the toy parrot our community kept. Unlike most of the other residents, Belinda spoke two languages. And, unlike most of the residents, Belinda was beginning to switch back to her native language. This was a real problem,Continue reading “The Parrot Speaks Spanish”

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