Dementia & Snickers

For those of you with a family member, friend or neighbor with dementia, I have an idea of continuity to share with you. It’s really simple, but it works.

About 6 months ago I was visiting my neighbor, Miss D at her secured location. I brought 2 Snickers bars and a roll of Life Savers – her favorite candy. She giggled with delight as I gave her one of the candy bars. I placed the other bar and candy roll under her pillow. I know Miss D hides her valuables under her pillow and she would find these gems after I left. A few weeks later I added a 3rd Snickers bar to give to her best friend Miss T, a resident on the dementia floor. I always make a point to give Miss T her candy bar with Miss D. I follow the same pattern on every visit.

Connections were growing with $4 worth of goodies each week.  One day I shared with the man at the newsstand I was visiting Miss D as I bought the candy. He remembered her buying the newspaper from him every day until a year ago. Now he always asks how Miss D is doing and hopes she returns home soon. I in return tell Miss D the newsstand man says hello and she stays connected to her neighborhood. You may think your loved one with dementia doesn’t remember your visits or when you give them something – why bother. I believe they do remember with their hearts. Miss D hugs and kisses me each time I visit her before I give her the candy. Her friend, Miss T also hugs me and tells me in Spanish what a good friend I am to Miss D and I tell Miss T how much I appreciate her friendship with Miss D.

This goodwill happens by being consistent and showing up for our loved ones with dementia.

Being a weekly Snickers Fairy helps, too.

 

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4 thoughts on “Dementia & Snickers

  1. Just another way of “paying it foward”. Everyone should be as lucky as Miss D, Miss T and me to have you in their lives!!

  2. Hi Nancy, thanks for your comment on my blog http://dementiapoetry.com/ – out of interest how did you find it so quickly…? Was just set up yesterday! 🙂

    I admire your blog on elder abuse – I think you are US based but there has been some excellent documentaries on this issue on UK TV lately:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041mq9q

    Personally speaking, poetry is my way of getting out frustration, and helps me be unfailingly kind in caring for mum-in-law in person…

    • Hi DG, I found your blog by exploring tags on the WordPress Reader. I selected the tag Dementia and posts tagged with Dementia show up in my Reader. Yes, I am US based and the issue of Elder Abuse is beginning to get noticed worldwide. There are so many great organizations that have been battling this issue for years. My experience with it has really lit a fire in me to be an advocate for Elder Abuse. Thank you for your encouragement and the link to the UK documentaries. I think you’ve found your outlet with the poetry and it will give you the deep understanding of your mum-in-law and help you keep strong. Good luck with your new blog. Glad I found you so quickly.

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