Memories v. Delusions.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Skyrim, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    I thought I'd share this one to help people distinguish between a clear memory and the sort of delusions/ hallucinations some people experience.
    A couple of weeks ago a large old aeroplane, probably on its way to a summer air show, went right over the house with that funny silent, then boom, noise those sort of things make. MIL was only mildly interested at the time, although she had been in the WRAF at the end of the war and has rather liked the local air shows and such.
    A few nights later, I was woken up by her crawling into bed with me, in some terror, and calling me by her sister's name. My house is exactly the same layout as the one she lived in as a young girl....she actually takes great comfort from that....so, by deduction, I gather I have the room wherer her older sister's would have been.
    Anyhoo, I reassured her that all was OK, but she happened to be in my bed and took her back to her own. Didn't think more of it until, a day or two later, she announced very loudly ( to the consternation of my guest at the time), that the "b's had tried another run on the city during the night, she had been very brave and hadn't wet either her own bed or mine!".
    All fell into place...either she had been dreaming too vividly, which I believe can happen with Aricept, or just remembering an event. Either way she was very proud of herself, and rightly so. This sort of example helps me unpick some of her more bizarre behaviours as I realise that she has memories no one else can explain and its a comfort to her if I can get into her "reality" rather than bring her into mine.
    Bit of a laugh, after the event, to be startled awake like that at 3 a.m though! :)
     
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Reading your post Skyrim reminded me of reading Michael Morpurgo's book,
    :)

    Things are not always as daft or inexplicable as they may appear:)
     
  3. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    An elephant in the garden?

    I hope it was a good book.....:)
    But, seriously, I feel the ability to get into the person's memory or roll of film (if you've read Oliver Janes) has to be one of the skills we develop as carers for this client group? When I started work in care a few years ago, out "trained" response to statements like "is mother coming for tea" would be met with "well, she can't be...she's not alive..." Or some such, which was really quite bleak and shocking for the individual.
    Over the years I have worked with clients where I have crawled around under furniture as we planned our escape from Occupied Belgium, helped someone lock up their chip shop for the night and looked for endless missing cats. Most of its amusing, especially when, in the case of the "Belgian escape", I had to dissuade the gentleman from crawling out the front door to the waiting car.... Only the over-bright moonlight saved us! We'd have to wait for a cloudy evening instead!
     
  4. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    It was a good book:) It is a children's book and is quite short and it is about an elderly person in a care home with dementia, understood by a young visitor who was fascinated by her seeing an elephant in the garden, without wishing to spoil it, as I do recommend it , the 'true' story behind it is quite fascinating.
     

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