Forum Discussion

Ask questions, share ideas and support one another.

Louise 3rd Dec 2020 Activities Co-ordinator

I have a lady with Dementia who starts to wander in the afternoon and looks to leave to go home, I have tried distraction techniques etc but the problem is she is partially sighted. We don't have WiFi so a tablet with sundown music on it isn't an option.

I am really stuck for how to help this lady, does anybody have any ideas I could try.


Susan 3rd Dec 2020 Activity Director
Hi Louise
Have you read this article

I would ask the resident why she wants to go home
Often is she wants to be reassured that she is safe
Sometimes residents want to go home because they have to take care of the kids
Reassure her that it’s the neighbors turn to take care of the kids
I don’t know if you heard of therapeutic fiblets
I find one very useful one
Is to tell the resident that supper has already been ordered for them and it’s been paid for
You don’t want to waste the money for the meal do you
This coupled with the Fiblet about why they cannot go home has helped me many times
Also giving them notes to remind them of something you had just told them can help
But as the article says sometimes there just isn’t any way to dissuade the individual
The best thing to do is remain calm and reassure the person
You may want to bring them to an area away from the group so you don’t agitate other residents
Louise 4th Dec 2020 Activities Co-ordinator
Hi Susan,

Thanks for the link it makes for an excellent read and I love the idea of fiblets.
She kind of acts like a catalyst for others to behave similarly, so removing her from the situation seems like a very good approach.
Thank you for replying x
Susan 4th Dec 2020 Activity Director
It was my pleasure Louise
I know how difficult this situation can be because I lived it firsthand
You may have to change your approaches and your fiblets as time goes on
I had one staff member who was so good at making up Fiblets That other staff believed her even though what she was saying wasn’t true
Cynthia 8th Dec 2020 CTRS
I try and prepare for the hour of restlessness ahead of time, so at 3:00 I do provide a music program and then maybe go right into a breathing and relaxation, or aroma therapy at 4, it may prevent the issue. Then I try to have some self-directed things(jobs) for her available to staff when I leave-(at this time of year, Christmas cards, yarn rolling, and sorting jobs) so she feels she is being productive here and does not want to leave. Also make sure the lights are on in whatever room she is in prior, during and after, as the darkness tends to bring on restlessness.
Susan 9th Dec 2020 Activity Director
Hi Cynthia
Thanks for sharing what you do
I say if it works use it
However every place is different sometimes it’s just trial and error to see what works
Thanks again for letting us know what works for you
Kim 9th Dec 2020 Activities Director
I have a lady with dementia who wanders, too. I have tried many things with her, but the thing she likes the most is for me to walk with her up and down her hall and chat. I don't use a "baby" tone with her, just be me and talk to her like an adult talking to a friend. She also sometimes likes to look at pretty pictures in magazines. She has written book of spiritual poetry in the past, so sometimes she likes for me to read her short poems about God and spirituality.

In September, I finished a Continuing Ed course about activities for dementia residents. I tried twirling a ribbon around a cardboard TP tube, paper balling and other things. None of these things held her attention for even a minute! But she does like to walk with me and chat.
Susan 10th Dec 2020 Activity Director
Hi Kim
Thank you for sharing
Walking and talking with a person like this can be comforting to them

Leave a comment

Create an Account to use the Forum, it's free!