Dementia, Antony, Oslo discussed on Fading Memories: Alzheimer's Caregiver Support
Ability to feed yourself. But it all starts with the understanding of the person with dementia can still learn. The person with dementia is a normal person who has a disability. We need to look at dementia, not as a disease medicalized process, but as a disability. And what that means is that our job then is to enable a person to circumvent their deficits. And to be able to use the ability to stay have as opposed to focusing on what they can't do. So for example, we talk about cognitive ramps, okay? No, if you're driving down the street and you see a ramp that's built up in the front yard to somebody's house, you don't think anything of it. You say, you know, there's someone there who is, say, in a wheelchair, and this lets them get into the house without having to go up steps or be carried up the steps. So for a person with dementia, cognitive ramps are things that allow you to circumvent your deficits. So for example, I remember talking to a woman who said, you know, it's really sad, but when I come to visit my husband, he doesn't know me anymore. He calls me by his mother's name or his Antony. And what I told her was he knows he just can't name you. There's a real, that's not a random choice of names. So what if you wear a name tag in large print when you come to visit? And he can read that and call you by name. And that is a cognitive ramp. And I'll tell you the nature of a relationship changes when a person can call you by name or when they can't. We say it's a little thing that's a big thing. Another thing is, for example, I always talk to staff and I say, all right, so a person comes up to you and says, you know, my wife doesn't visit me anymore or my daughter. They don't know if I'm alive or dead. Please call them. And of course, the person left 45 minutes ago after their visit. And they might not be even home. They're on the way. They're on the way home, see. Why laugh because when my mom was in memory care the first year ish, oh my goodness, all the ladies there, they were demanding the phone in the yellow pages, which of course cracked me up because I'm not even sure they still print yellow pages anymore, but that's what they remember though. Yeah. So what we say is you need to, if this is a community, you need to have a visitor center. You need to have a place where people can go who are coming for a visit who can see what's coming up who can figure out how to get to places, but also how to have a good time. And so one of the things we talk about is what we call a visitor's book. This is a thing that I got actually an Oslo when I was giving the conference, but.