By John Sweeney, Care Partner for his wife Virginia
Every since the “sundowner’s” episodes commenced about 3 years ago, I would try to convince my wife, Virginia that this is her home. Show her pictures, furniture and clothes to convince her. It wasn’t working, her “dreams” were very real to her and she would think that I had her confused with someone else. About a year ago, with the good counsel of people like Sue from the memory cafe and Carolyn from “The Gathering” I started “getting in the moment” with her, not arguing about the facts, but role playing in the time she was in. This was uncomfortable for me at first, as it didn’t seem natural to be deceptive to the love of my life. But it gave her comfort and takes the trauma out of it.
Although it shouldn’t have been uncomfortable, as the Irish (which I’m one of) are known for fibbing!
Frequently Virginia gets visibly upset because she can’t find “the little girl, or the little boy.” She worries that she has done something wrong in his/her care. My response, “he/she was just visiting with us and he/she is back home with his/her parents”. Again, this solves the concern at the moment.
Care giving is mostly “on the job training” it usually gets better with more experience.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights with our community John. I’m sure it will help many.
We are so gratefully to have you and Virginia participate in Arthur’s Memory Cafe
Lori La Bey, Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks
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