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Bronagh 2nd Jun 2020 Activity Therapist
Hi folks,

I need some help and practical advice! We have a gentleman here in residential-used to be a teacher-very sharp knows his timetables still off by heart. He's in decline now, and everyday is asking, Nurses were am i? Am I loosing it? How did i end up like this? I've tried distraction, but he still goes back to saying this...I feel I owe it to this man to explain things, more but want to do it in a sensitive respectful way-a way that can help him! Does anyone have any ideas what I could say? Or any other suggestions?

Many Many Thanks
Susan 3rd Jun 2020 Activity Director
Hi Bronagh
Unfortunately this is very common in folks who have dementia who are starting to decline
Here are some ideas
have notes around his room or perhaps a card he can carry that gives him some details about it situation
For those who are wondering why they can’t go home you can always say the doctor wanted him to stay here for a little while
Tell him how much you enjoy his company and that he can be very helpful to you while he is at your facility
Perhaps you can give him some math tasks to do
here are some math games he might enjoy
Also so you might want to have him do some thing
related to money such as counting coins
This article may be helpful to you also
Good luck and let us know what is working for you and him
Solange 3rd Jun 2020 Diversional Therapist
Hi!, Bronagh, yes, we all have heard it in our working life. It is heartbreaking that dementia makes the passage of time so confusing. They either want to go ‘home’ and see someone long-deceased. Saying ‘This is your home’ rarely works and sometimes makes them angry.
I would say don’t correct or argue with them, just take a big deep breath and validate their feelings. When they calm down you can re-direct their attention elsewhere that is of interest to them.
Redirection requires patience, understanding and also acceptance of the situation. I would recommend finding the resident in question some social roles to play. For instance, give him a few tasks that he perceives as ‘important’ and he may immerse himself in it and thus influence his behaviour. Things like: 1Taking care of plants. 2 Taking care of pets 3 Being the ‘weatherman’ in your facility. Eventually, you will find something that he is really interested in. Don’t feel guilty, we all have been there. Here are a few ideas for redirection.

Julianna 13th Jun 2020 Disability Support Worker And Dementia Carer
Hi Bronagh
There are a number of Orientation boards available on the internet. Their purpose is to orientate a person to where they are, what day it is, why they are there, etc. Research a few and put together to match the resident.
A word of warning: discuss with any relatives the answer to question "why am I here?". A flat "you have dementia " may suit some, but most people are better to be told about their age, if spouses or carers could no longer look after them, because their house was dangerous, because they have been I'll, etc. Don't lie to them, but for many the mere mention of the word "dementia " is enough to upset them.
The Orientation board saves them the embarrassment or stress of having to ask.
If the resident's stml is not too bad, when they ask the question, show them the board AND answer their question. Hopefully they will be able to use the board after some prompting.
Susan 14th Jun 2020 Activity Director
Hi Julianna
Thank you so much for this information I am sure it will be helpful

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