3 things you can do to cope with repetitive questions

“Where am I?” Nathan asked. “Where’s my room?” We’d showed Nathan his room about 15 times that day, and it was getting exhausting. I was new to dementia care, and wanted to “solve” this “behavioral issue” with some creativity. Here was the issue, though: you can’t stop repetitive questions. You can, perhaps, distract the personContinue reading “3 things you can do to cope with repetitive questions”

“She KNOWS something is wrong with her.”

A woman in the audience raised her hand. “I have a good friend with dementia, and sometimes she’ll say, ‘I know something is wrong with me.’ It really breaks my heart, but I don’t know what to say! Should I tell her she has dementia?” Here’s what I said: She is already aware that thereContinue reading ““She KNOWS something is wrong with her.””

Always ask people with dementia for help

Are you enjoying my blog posts? Grab a free download of one chapter from my audiobook here and also receive any future helpful tips and posts right to your inbox! “He’s really combative,” the staff member complained, popping in my doorway. “Christian keeps slapping my hand away when I’m trying to wash his face.” “Okay,Continue reading “Always ask people with dementia for help”

Wait…did you mean Early Onset or Early Stage?

Yep, there’s a difference between these two phrases and we need to make sure we’re using the correct one! I get asked about terminology in geriatrics probably more than I get asked about anything else. “What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?” “Wait, what’s dementia mean?” “What’s MCI?” “What’s early onset?” I hear these questions a lot, and it’s importantContinue reading “Wait…did you mean Early Onset or Early Stage?”

#1 reason that ROUTINE is going to save you a lot of dementia-related drama

Routine. It’s about what you do regularly, probably every day, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it.  Routine is essential when you’re caring for someone with dementia. Not only is it just about what you do, it’s about what they used to do. What does that mean?  It means that we need to relyContinue reading “#1 reason that ROUTINE is going to save you a lot of dementia-related drama”

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”

Should he be driving, still?

The short answer? Probably not. Families ask me often if I think that their loved one with dementia “should still be driving,” and my answer is usually, “almost-definitely-not.” Here’s the problem with driving and dementia: even if your loved one can still get from point A to point B without a problem, it doesn’t mean that theyContinue reading “Should he be driving, still?”

Don’t ask someone with dementia if they “know your name” or “remember you”

If I can, I always opt to ditch my name tag in a dementia care environment. I let my friends with dementia decide what my name is: I’ve been Susan, Gwendolyn, and various peoples’ kids. I’ve been so many identities to my residents, too: a coworker, a boss, a student, a sibling, a friend fromContinue reading “Don’t ask someone with dementia if they “know your name” or “remember you””

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