“You look like a wicked broad!”

Joan was the second British woman who had lived in one of my dementia care communities. She had moved to the US after meeting her husband, an American soldier, in World War II—a story similar to the one that I heard from my first British resident. If you asked Joan, she could still tell youContinue reading ““You look like a wicked broad!””

There’s Friendship in Dementia

A pair of my residents walked down the hall together. Joyce was hand in hand with her new friend, Darlene. Joyce stopped and looked at me carefully.  “Have you seen ‘Melissa’ around here anywhere?” she asked me. I cracked a smile, but tried not to laugh. “Melissa” was Darlene’s daughter’s name. Darlene tended to perseverate on theContinue reading “There’s Friendship in Dementia”

A Gift For A Friend

Jeff and Bill had become really good friends. Bill had lived at our community for quite a while, and Jeff was a new resident. Although Jeff was more high-functioning than Bill was, they always sat together at mealtimes. The pair chatted on and on about what they did for a living, where they lived, andContinue reading “A Gift For A Friend”

Bilingual Bowling

“We are bowling. Bowwwwlllllliiinngggg,” Clementine offered, dragging out the word and making a bowling motion with her hand. “Come bowl with us,” she said to her new friend. Clementine was attempting to persuade Astrid to join her for a game in the common area. The problem was that Astrid spoke German, and Clementine spoke onlyContinue reading “Bilingual Bowling”

An Empty Couch.

It’s easy to underestimate the amount that people with dementia rely on each other for companionship.  While my residents usually seem to “forget” their new friends after these people die or move away, they do not forget the connection. Often, after a pair of residents is separated by death or by distance, the one left behindContinue reading “An Empty Couch.”

Beauty At Any Age.

“C’mon, pretty lady!” Ella motioned to Mildred. “Let’s go to lunch.” “That’s not me, I’m not a pretty lady,” Mildred shook her head, refusing to accept the compliment. My residents constantly blow me away by how kind they are to each other. Sure, sometimes they get angry with each other or pick fights. But, forContinue reading “Beauty At Any Age.”


It was 5:00 PM, which meant it was time for dinner. I scanned the dining room, checking seats for their respective owners.  Where are Margaret* and Patricia*? I thought. It was odd that they weren’t in the dining room, especially because they were always some of the first residents to sit down. This duo is exactlyContinue reading “Friendship.”

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