My friend Dorothy Tucker worked as a nurse in nursing homes for 30 years. She especially loved working with people who had Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. She said the trick to keeping them peaceful and happy was to join them wherever they were in their own reality.
Every day when she left to go to work she believed with her entire being that she was a nurse who worked in a nursing home and helped care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. However, during the course of the day the residents could see her as 15 to 20 different people. Sometimes she was a mother, a sister or an auntie. Sometimes she was a friend from school. Other times she was the bully from the playground or the hussy who flirted with someone’s husband at the dance.
Dorothy found great joy in discovering how she fit into their reality of the moment.
If you are caring for someone who has a dementia-related disease, it will be a lot easier for both of you if you can release your need for them to accept your reality and you can learn to join them wherever they are in theirs.