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””

Wonderlin Caregiver Hotline

Whenever someone finds out I work in dementia care, they always have questions for me about themselves or a loved one. I love helping people find answers to their questions. That’s why, now, I offer a caregiver hotline. Pay online ahead of time, send me an email and let me know some times and datesContinue reading “Wonderlin Caregiver Hotline”

The Memory Care Cat

I did something this week that I’ve been hoping to do for a while: I picked out a cat for our Memory Care Neighborhood at work. The executive director of our community met me at the local animal shelter to help find the right cat. Immediately upon entering the “cat room,” I saw a sign forContinue reading “The Memory Care Cat”

Virtual Dementia Tour

Yesterday at work I brought in a local hospice company to train our staff through the Virtual Dementia Tour tool by a company called Second Wind Dreams. http://www.secondwind.org/virtual-dementia-tour/ The situation is set up before you arrive in a room where different tasks and objects are laid out. You’re given a headset, glasses that impair yourContinue reading “Virtual Dementia Tour”

8 Reasons it’s Time to Move to Memory Care

People often ask me how they will know when it’s the “right time” to move someone into Memory Care. There is no official perfect time, but these 8 tips may help guide you in the right direction. 1. You’re taking care of your loved one at home and he or she is waking up…a lot. YouContinue reading “8 Reasons it’s Time to Move to Memory Care”

“She has heels on.”

Lois is very active at the community. She is generally very excitable, very happy, and very sociable. She does, however, get anxious easily. Lois enjoys listening to music, dancing, and walking down the hallway, hand-in-hand with her newfound friends, who are also residents at the community.  “Hey, sweetie pie!” she asks frequently. “When’s my daughter comingContinue reading ““She has heels on.””

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.”

People In The Woods.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend watching HBO’s documentary, “The Memory Loss Tapes.” It’s a feature length film, but it is worth watching. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be astounded, and you’ll cry some more. The documentary follows people in different stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and documents their successes and struggles. I’veContinue reading “People In The Woods.”

Sock Puppets.

I think there’s a lot that we can learn from people with dementia, especially those who don’t communicate in normal ways. I’ve blogged about a few of my residents with aphasia before, but there’s one in particular that always keeps me laughing. Truly, I’m laughing with her, because she’s always “telling” jokes. She has aphasia, which meansContinue reading “Sock Puppets.”

They all think I’m crazy.

“We’ve got to get out of here!” she screamed. “They are dangerous people and they’re after us! They think I’m crazy but I know the truth!” It was dinnertime, and she was upset, to say the least. If our residents get agitated, (which honestly, isn’t often) it’s usually in the late afternoon. You may haveContinue reading “They all think I’m crazy.”

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