I invented a game that he accepted, and she was willing to play: taking turns having morsels of food, say from a plate of cheese and crackers. Once he had a piece, he couldn’t have another until she did.

It worked well, particularly when I was there to prompt her, even put her cracker and cheese together and then get her to take it in one bite instead of nibbling it. This way, with an investment of 20 minutes of my time, I managed to get her most of the way through her part of the snack. He no longer has the ability to get her to do these things. He’s only able to say “you’ve done well enough, that’s enough” whether or not she has in fact had enough. He has no understanding of or patience with the situation any more.

It works when I am the initiator. Not sure how well it will transfer to our PSWs and as I said, he is not capable of doing this one himself. But creativity is so necessary to dementia care; as they keep changing, our approach has to keep changing with them.

 

Originally written July 2, 2018