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TINA 11th Jun 2019 Memory Care Activities
Good Morning! I need feedback regarding a female resident who has attached to a married male resident (kissing, touching, tending to him, etc). He has the same name as her deceased husband. While his wife understands, she is still having great challenges tolerating the behavior. I and the care staff are all diligent in redirecting, but naturally we can't be with them every moment. The wife is completely devoted to her sweet husband, so she visits daily. He doesn't seem to reciprocate the female resident's gestures and advances, but he is such a gentleman so he is always kind. The wife is becoming increasingly distraught, so I would like to know if anyone has any long term success with managing the behavior. Thanks!
Susan 11th Jun 2019 Activity Director
Hi Tina
I assume the male residents wife does not have dementia
First have the social worker or someone in a similar position talk to the wife and explain to her that her husband is in a memory care unit and everyone in the unit has some memory issues
Getting angry at the female resident will do no good in fact it may escalate into a real brawl
This wife of male resident needs to understand that no matter what you do she the female person with dementia may not stop
She will forget what you told her and trying to remind her will only make her angry
The wife of the male resident should join a support group and get her frustrations out in the group
Even if the wife chooses to move her husband to a different facility the same thing may happen

You can try to distract The female with dementia when she makes inappropriate gestures to the male resident with dementia
Is there something she really likes to do that would distract her
Perhaps you can send her to the hairdresser and pay for her to have her hair done
I am sure the facility does not want to lose the male resident with dementia

We did have a similar situation but the wife of the male resident with dementia became friends with the female who had dementia in fact she used to bring her food from McDonald's which she also brought her husband

I hope this helps
Molly 19th Jun 2019 Activity Professional & Writer
Hi Tina, how difficult this must be for the wife and all of you as you try to redirect! I've seen this a lot, and despite efforts, it is difficult to redirect permanently without a move to a new unit (which can cause a host of new issues for the resident). I like the idea Susan offered regarding the Social Worker. It is important that the wife feels supported!
Susan 19th Jun 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Molly
Teresa 1st Jul 2019 Activity Director
I had this happen before also and I wanted to try this idea but the gentlemen passed just before I got it in place. So if you try it please let me know the outcome good or bad. I would talk to the women residents family and see what they notice that is similar beside the shared name. Does he wear a baseball hat if not try to get him to wear a hat cowboy baseball whatever. Does he wear t-shirts or polos? Maybe put him in a different type of shirt a bright Hawaiian shirt or something the opposite of his norm or whatever the common thing is. Maybe he has the same color hair or parts it the same way. Is that something his wife is willing to change.
Susan 2nd Jul 2019 Activity Director
Very good idea Teresa
Let us know what works for you Tina

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