Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Encore: Do You Remember.............???

This is an encore article originally published in June, 2008.

People with dementia, especially in the early stages, are frightened by what's happening to them. Caregivers need to be sensitive to what they say and how they say it.

For example, it's very tempting to introduce comments about past events with the phrase:"Do you remember..." This should be avoided.

It's very hard to do (I should know as I've been there and done that in dealing with my mother's dementia). This phrase reminds the dementia sufferer that he/she has memory issues. The response will either be agitation or else a "Yes, I remember," which may or may not be true.

Many dementia victims are good at covering up their deficits when confronted with such a question. It's important for their dignity and tranquility for caregivers to be alert to small things like this.

Bob Tell
Dementia Diary, A Caregiver's Journal