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Contented Dementia

Oliver James

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Key to care is to not confront. Don't challenge head on. You are there to maintain their confidence. Simple tactic of agreeing with everything she said - anything else was disastrous.

Mother decides she needs a new skirt, so daughter takes her shopping, As mum slipped off her skirt in the changing room to try on a new one, she revealed a second skirt underneath. Both skirts were removed without comment, and all the new ones tried on. Of course one selected one of her own ones as most suitable for purchase, so daughter prevails on baffled shop assistant to put it in carrier bag, and off they go, both happy.

Found cd repeat one or two routines endlessly. Frequent repetition never csly noticed, provided she felt secure and was able to make her own sense of the situation. Then it was just a matter ofmaking sure no-one else interfered.

In one dementia home, the manager explained that every new resident was allowed to do whatever they wanted for the first 72 hours. If they wanted baths in the middle of the night, or meals every five minutes, or to walk to the bus stop, their wish was never denied. After the first 72 hours of unconditional acceptance of whatever they wanted to do, no-one was ever any trouble.

Dementia counsellor learned to never ask questions of patient, bc they wd then have to confront memory loss, and start to panic. Find a common interest and start chatting about that, and get them asking the questions. Don't worry about anything recent, bc they no longer store those memories. But from loner ago, they are fine.

Our brains store memories in two ways - as facts and as (associated) emotions - basically good or bad feelings. With dementia, the facts don't get stored. For a while, the sufferer covers up the gaps, but eventually it becomes obvious that person doesn't have the info to make sense of what they are currently doing.

That causes a huge panic, as they are confronted with evidence that the gap in knowledge of what is going on may have happened multiple times - how can you trust your own mind?

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