How Joe stopped arguing with his mom

“Mom’s room is a mess!” Joe complained. “Every time I go in there, we argue about her clothes! She’s got them strewn all over the floor, and she keeps claiming that they don’t belong to her.” It was true. Joe and his mom, Bethany, argued nonstop when he came to visit her at our dementia […]

Why people living with dementia never initiate tasks

She’d left her father a “to-do” list that included tasks around the house. He was home, by himself, for a good deal of time during the day. When his caregiver was there, Max had the help around the house that he needed. When she left, though, Max was also left to his own devices. Max’s […]

“We have to leave right now.”

“Let’s go,” she said. “We have to find out where my husband is. We have to go home now.” Urging her to “please wait” was not working very well. Amelia was intent on going—and she was starting to get agitated. It didn’t help, of course, that she had a UTI (urinary tract infection). I could not get […]

A new way to keep residents safe

The first “bookshelf door” went so well at my dementia care community that I bought another one! This was the first one I ordered off of Amazon (see link here) so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the one that local students made for us. I am happy to say […]

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 couple […]

Pattern-Seeking Behavior

People often ask me if their loved ones with dementia can “learn new things.” My answer usually is something like, “kind of.” I realize that this isn’t a very good answer, but it’s true. When I first got to the community where I work now, no one used the activity space. At least, not really. Residents didn’t […]

In Paris

Malinda was notorious for “shopping” in other residents’ closets. Because she felt like the whole floor was her house, she had no qualms about going into other people’s rooms and picking up their stuff. More often than not, Malinda had at least 2 layers of clothing on. At least one pair of pants, usually a sweater […]

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