Recently I started reading a book called A Loving Approach To Dementia Care by Laura Wayman, Johns Hopkins University Press. I loved the book from the very beginning and I emailed Ms Wayman to ask for permission to post word for word exerts from her book. I was thrilled when she gave me permission coupled with providing proper credit to her and the publishing company. I was very happy to comply.
You may have seen my post called File Cabinets of Dementia. If not you can click here to read it. The File Cabinets of Dementia is the first post I made after reading her book which is so enlightening and a great way for me to understand the memory loss process.
The book offers real life stories that relate very closely to many real life situations between care givers and their dementia loved one. I particularly like the following explanation – ”Alice stepped through the looking glass into another world, a fantasy “reality” she called a ”wonderland,” where she enjoyed amazing adventures with the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, and many other interesting characters. When she stepped back through the mirror into the reality of the parlor in her home, however, she could not bring her new friends or unusual adventures with her. They did not exist in this world.
The most challenging behaviors for caregivers sometimes are precipitated by their attempts to bring the person who has dementia into their own reality. These attempts can stir up anxiety, anger, fear, combativeness, and aggression in the person receiving care. As caregivers we can more easily connect if we confidently step through that person’s ”mirror” into her world and allow her to act as our “Alice” – to lead us through the dementia wonderland”. Laura Wayman, A Loving Approach to Dementia Care, Johns Hopkins University Press.
What an incredible way to explain where I am when I am with my mom.