Many of the assisted living residents I work with have dementia. Most of the time the person that has it is really not there. They aren’t at the same place as you are. I can have the same conversation with the same person everyday for ten days straight.
I know a woman that used to live in another country and she spends a good majority of her time trying to get a ride back home. She’s always asking if anyone is going that way, can she grab a ride with you, could you let her use your phone so she can call someone to come get her.Her kids will be home from school soon, she should be there when they get off the bus. Her husband will be upset if he finds out she’s been playing cards all day and not cooking dinner.
This conversation doesn’t change from day to day. Always the same, can I get a ride with you, anyone going that way, can you call a friend for me.
And then one day one little nugget of gold is given out and you see the person they used to be.
It was my birthday. We had all celebrated all day because every time someone new stopped in to wish me a happy birthday the whole gang would say “It’s your birthday? We didn’t know that. Oh, well, we really have to sing” and they would. I think they sang to me ten times that day.
As I was leaving for the day the lady from another country grabbed my hand and said “I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to get out and get a card for your birthday but I hope you know you were on my mind all day. You know I love you right? Will you forgive me?”