Enter the Gray Area: Communicating with someone living with dementia

“We bring Rachael in for a different perspective,” the nursing school’s professor told her class. “As I said before: do what she says in practice, but remember to write the opposite of what she says when you’re taking your boards.” The class nodded, but I was shocked. “Wait, nursing schools still teach reorientation? I thoughtContinue reading “Enter the Gray Area: Communicating with someone living with dementia”

5 steps to get you into the world of someone living with dementia

I had someone tell me recently that they’d used my Embracing Their Reality techniques when talking to their mother with dementia. “I told her that we were going to see her parents, and she looked confused. She was talking about her parents the week before, so I just started the conversation about seeing them! EmbracingContinue reading “5 steps to get you into the world of someone living with dementia”

5 steps to get you into the world of someone with dementia I had someone tell me recently that they’d used my Embracing Their Reality techniques when talking to their mother with dementia. “I told her that we were going to see her parents, and she looked confused. She was talking about her parents the weekContinue reading

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”

Use music to completely change the day of someone with dementia

It was really challenging to get Kayla ready in the morning. She didn’t want to eat, dress, or even—really—get out of bed at all. Her family was becoming exhausted with the “morning routine” since it took a long time when she was sleepy. One day, Kayla’s daughter had put on some music in the background to keepContinue reading “Use music to completely change the day of someone with dementia”

“He sleeps all day!”

Most people with dementia, especially in later stages, will sleep all day if you let them.  A lot of caregivers come to me with the same problem. “I don’t know what to do! He/she sleeps all day. Is that normal?” It’s normal, if you let it be normal. Most people with dementia will err on theContinue reading ““He sleeps all day!””

We aren’t talking about FTD enough

Samuel walked into the room and started immediately yelling about his boss. “I can’t believe this mother [explicative deleted]! He laid me off!”  It was particularly sad because we all knew why Sam had been laid off: his FTD was nearing the unbearable. He was often very kind and funny, but when he got hooked onContinue reading “We aren’t talking about FTD enough”

Why “remember?” doesn’t work

Very often I’ll watch caregivers interact with their loved ones who have dementia. And, very often, I’ll hear them repeat this phrase: “Remember, I told you that…?” It’s a real pet peeve of mine. Your loved one with dementia doesn’t remember. What happens when you ask them… “Do you remember what you had for breakfast?” “Don’tContinue reading “Why “remember?” doesn’t work”

“Don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness.”

So many family caregivers will say to me, “But mom/dad/aunt/brother/spouse will not let me…” Take the car Move them into a care community Pay the bills for them Take over the healthcare Power of Attorney Send caregivers to the house Do the grocery shopping Make any decisions for them Bring them to the doctor What IContinue reading ““Don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness.””

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