“Sometimes we don’t understand how lost dementia patients are. We may get through our whole sentence, but they’re only processing the first word.”
“As a community dementia clinician, I support people who take care of people with dementia. There’s so much we don’t know: Why does someone recognize their spouse one day and the next they don’t? Sometimes we don’t understand how lost they are. We may get through our whole sentence, but they’re only processing the first word.
I worked in residential care for 13 years. One resident, in her late 90s, would say, ‘My mom is waiting for me across the street. If I don’t go she’ll worry.’ When I asked her to tell me about her mom, a smile came over her. Listening helps caregivers too. The daughter of one family told me, ‘You’re my life line.’ That was special.
I’m from India. I met my husband while he was there on vacation. Our families knew each other. My parents said, ‘Meet him and decide.’ I remember he was talking and talking and I thought: perfect, because I like to listen. We have three kids, ages 5, 11 and 13. It’s tough to balance work and family, but when I have time to myself, I love to play the piano and learn new songs. It’s relaxing.”
-- Elba D'Souza, Community Dementia Clinician, Fraser Health