Stay Here Tonight

“Can I stay here tonight?” Alice asked, looking up at me from her seat on the hallway couch. Alice lived at our community, but she did not remember that. She would sometimes ask to go home, while other times she would ask to stay overnight. The human brain is very pattern-seeking. Because Alice lived withContinue reading “Stay Here Tonight”

Is This For Me?

I handed Helen one of the stuffed dogs from our new Pet Shop area. I knew how much she enjoyed the baby dolls we had, so I hoped that she would also like the dogs. “Ohh,” she cried with delight, opening her arms to accept the stuffed dog.  “Is this dog for me? Can IContinue reading “Is This For Me?”

Easy Bathing.

I walked into one of our “Spa Rooms” to wash my hands. It’s one of three rooms where we help our residents take baths or showers.  I paused and looked around. No wonder no residents want to bathe in here, I thought. It looks like a hospital bathroom! Think about your bathroom at home. You’veContinue reading “Easy Bathing.”

A Marriage.

A lot of people fear that their spouse or life partner will get dementia. Many people are already coping with it. It’s incredibly hard to watch someone you love struggle with cognitive decline. But what if you both had dementia? Martin* and Joyce* have been married for over fifty years. They both have dementia, butContinue reading “A Marriage.”

I’m Not Old Like These People.

“I’ve made a mistake. I came here once to visit this place with all of the elderly people, but I don’t want to be here anymore. All these old people live here,” Mary* whispered to me. Many of my residents do not know how old they are. Every once in a while, Mary will becomeContinue reading “I’m Not Old Like These People.”

My Shadow.

One of my residents, Vera*, was laughing so hard that tears were brimming at the corners of her eyes. She dabbed them away with a tissue and tried hard not to continue laughing.  “He’s following you around,” she said, pointing to the man behind me. Charles* stood there quietly, not two feet away. “Where areContinue reading “My Shadow.”

The Cat’s Meow.

                                   Ellen* has Dementia with Lewy Bodies, so it makes her a little different from our other residents with Alzheimer’s disease. For the most part, Ellen keeps to herself. She can usually be found in her room with theContinue reading “The Cat’s Meow.”

Dementia & A Baby.

This is our baby station for our residents with dementia. One of my residents, Agnes*, was walking down the hallway carrying one of the babies in her arms. As I watched, she moved the baby into a “burping” motion and bounced up and down, rocking the infant.

You Live Here Now.

One of the worst things that you can do to a person who lives in long-term memory care is to remind them that they live in long-term memory care. Most of my residents with dementia still believe that they live at home, so it’s very confusing for them to hear otherwise. “Hey. What are we doing here?Continue reading “You Live Here Now.”

We Are Related, Somehow.

“Here we go, down the road!” Marie* sang, tapping her walker on the ground as she moved down the hallway. Her son, a man in his 50s, walked beside her.  Marie loves to walk. She’s always on the move, and when her son visits, which is often, he walks with her.  “Hi Marie,” I smiled,Continue reading “We Are Related, Somehow.”

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