PASSPORT - Alan did really well

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by helen.tomlinson, May 12, 2008.

  1. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Well we've been and we actually had a lovely day. We set off on the train because I didn't fancy travelling in peak hour traffic and not knowing my way around. It was a lovely fresh morning and it actually felt like we were on holiday!!:)

    We arrived in Derby an hour early and went for coffee. Alan was quite chirpy. When we arrived at the Passport place they couldn't have treated him any better. The receptionist had to ask him some basic details but she was already aware that Alan had an illness and was very kind, patient and more importantly adaptive. It took Alan ages to be able to say his name and she let me prompt him because he somehow responds to me. I said he could write it better than he could say it and so she let him sign his name instead - then he remembered. Regarding his address she let him read THAT BRASS TAG I had done on Saturday!! Even then he struggled for ages because as soon as he looked at the tag it had gone before he got pen to paper but eventually he did it.

    Then he was called into an office for an interview. The guy was very accommodating although he talked far too fast for Alan (or anyone else) to understand what he was saying. I asked him if I could interpret what he was saying to Alan and he said I could. When it came to Alan answering questions, I asked if it would be alright if I put his questions to Alan in another way and he said I could. For example the man asked where Alan was born. Alan didn't know. So I asked Alan whether he was born in Derby. He said "no". I said "were you born in Leicester?" he said "no". I said "were you born in Nottingham?" and he said "yes that's it". And I did this with every question and it worked. There were just a couple of questions I didn't know how to ask him in another way but the man said it was o.k. for him not to be able to answer them.

    In the end I said will he get a passport and he said "I don't know we just do the interview, you will hear within 4 to 10 days"!!! I feel sure it will be o.k.

    We then did a little holiday shopping and came home. Alan kept saying that the man was nice. He's now on the patio, in the shade, having a nice sleep :)

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

    Love Helen
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Oh I am glad Helen. Fingers and toes crossed that the result is positive.
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    So pleased for you both. Thank you for letting us know how the day went.

    Why don't you go and put your feet up in the shade too Helen.:)
  4. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Thanks Jennifer and Connie

    That's a good idea - I'm going to put my feet up out there with Alan right now.

    Love Helen
  5. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    Helen, I am so glad it went well today.
    Love Barb & Ron
  6. LIZ50

    LIZ50 Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    Hi Helen

    Just read your posting and found it very uplifting as your day seemed to be as sunny as the weather.
    Loved the way you helped Alan with the questions - very clever of you the way you turned them around so that he could answer in his own way. Will have to remember that if ever I need it for Mum.
    Let's hope you get a good response.
    Love Liz x
  7. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Hi Liz

    This technique came from the time Alan saw the Consultant. He was assessing Alan and asked him questions. I noticed that Alan couldn't answer quite a lot of them. I was watching the expression on the Consultant's face and he then started to ask Alan the same questions another way round. I thought then that Alan can't find the information inside of himself but he recognised immediately what was wrong information and then what was right.

    I use this technique quite a lot with Alan just in the chance belief that it might be a way of keeping alive something that is still there. If it hadn't been for me watching the Consultant I wouldn't have known this ability was still alive and neither would anyone else. No one else has tried this with Alan not the GP, not the CPN, not even the woman from the Alzheimers Society.
    Everyone who has come to see Alan gets the impression that he can't answer - BUT HE CAN - for the time being anyway.

    Love Helen
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Well done Helen. :)

    I`m so pleased, both for you and Alan, after all the nerves and apprehension.

    And it`s heartening to hear how much respect was shown to Alan. We have so many reports of disrespect, it makes a very pleasant change.

    A most successful day. :)

    Love xx
  9. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Helen,
    I am so pleased that the interview went well and do hope the outcome is a good one.

    If he did not understand the question, Peter use to look at me and then I would word the question in a way that Peter understood.

    Best wishes
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Helen,

    I was just flicking through the website tonight and latched onto your story re Alan, and the different methods of getting him to answer questions. I thought you were very innovative. There are only a few posts to this, I think it is an important idea, could one of the moderators promote this in some way? e.g. How to get the right answer to the question? Seems Helen's technique could help a lot. I don't know if the moderators read all the emails, but I hope they read this one and are able to make good use of it.

    Love to Helen

  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Margaret. :)

    All the moderators try to read as many posts as possible, so between us, I imagine few are missed.

    Helen`s technique with Alan was inspiring. I hope members who read Helen`s post will learn from it, and try this method with the ones they care for.

    I don`t think it would be advisable however for TP to give `lessons` to other members on `how to get the right answers` as the language difficulties and communication skills of all sufferers will be very different. It would be upsetting for members to follow this form of advice and fail.

    Love xx
  12. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Hi there

    Also I believe that Alan responds to this method because of the type of dementia he has - Semantic dementia of the Fronto Temperal Lobe. I am not absolutely sure of anything because no one has explained anything to me - it was just the way the Consultant was examining Alan. I presumed by the various techniques he used, he was testing different areas of the brain. I was struck because of the expression on the
    Consultants face (don't ask me what that expression was cos I don't remember now - perhaps a Eureka moment).

    Hope you all have a nice day

  13. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    One of the ideas that is being mulled about at present is a kind of guide of things that worked in given situations, and on tips to understanding the world from the perspective of the person who has dementia - and the person who is trying to peer in.

    I'll add Helen's one on communication to my list of content.

    As Sylvia says, not everything will work with everyone, especially as different people are at different stages with different dementias.

    However, just having some ideas to start with is really helpful.

    Suggestions for other content that has helped anyone is always welcomed - just PM the link to the thread to me and I will add it to my list.

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