It’s time we ditched the word “lying” in dementia caregiving

This is my manifesto, of sorts. When I first started working in dementia care, I learned about Teepa Snow’s philosophy of “Redirection and Distraction,” which was part of her Positive Approach to Care technique. I also learned about Naomi’s Feil’s “Validation” technique, and began implementing what I’d learned with my residents. One day, very earlyContinue reading “It’s time we ditched the word “lying” in dementia caregiving”

Where’s my wife?

Arnold was very easy to talk to. He was friendly, had a good sense of humor, and liked to sing along with the music coming over the radio. Arnold, overall, was pretty “with it” for someone with moderate Alzheimer’s. That’s why I was surprised when he wheeled past me and asked, “Have you seen my wife?”  IContinue reading “Where’s my wife?”

Reality, TV

Dorothy sat in front of the television with a few other residents. The entire group was slouched in their respective wheelchairs, sleeping, oblivious to the world around them.  Dorothy’s eyes were closed, but the TV was on and the volume up loud. She wasn’t paying attention to the screen at all. To make matters worse,Continue reading “Reality, TV”

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.”

Flowers, a cake, invitations.

“I need a cab!” he said, motioning to the phone. “Oh, where do you need to go?” I asked. “I’m getting married soon,” he smiled. “I need flowers…a cake…invitations…all those things!” I knew that this eighty-something-year-old man probably wasn’t getting married soon, but that didn’t matter. This was his world, and in his world, heContinue reading “Flowers, a cake, invitations.”

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