In American life, we think we are most free when we don't need anybody. Exactly what Alzheimer's represents is absolute dependency - That's what we all need to learn - how deeply we need one another.
- Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
- William James, Philosopher
They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.
- Bil Keane, Cartoonist
I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer, Missionary
Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.
- Christopher Columbus, Explorer
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat . . .We must find each other.
- Mother Theresa, Saint
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist
Nothing is more revealing than movement.
- Martha Graham, Dancer
All real living is meeting.
- Martin Buber, Philosopher
You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
- A. A. Milne, Author (Winnie the Pooh)
If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.
- Loretta Girzartis, Author
A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler does not know where he came from.
- Lin Yutang, Writer
Memory Bridge Newsletter
05/01/10 - Hoping Skills: Why Alzheimer's Disease is not the End
THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT! by Patricia Luster, C.N.A.
When a person with dementia does something that might be annoying to you but isn't hurting anyone, we call that "so what behavior.”
So what if it happens, it's not the end of the world.
At 5:30 in the morning the nurse came into the neighborhood to pass out the morning medication. She hadn't been there long when she got called away. Before leaving she pushed her cart into the nurses station and locked the gate.
Doris came wandering out of her room looking for action and spied the medicine cart, specifically the half-filled pitcher of cranberry juice perched on top. She had just enough arm length to reach over the gate and snatch up the pitcher. With her other hand she grabbed a stack of 30cc med cups.
I should have stopped her but I was curious to see what she was going to do, so I stood back and watched.
She lined up the cups in neat rows on the counter top of the nurses station, then filled them until the pitcher was empty.
"What are you doing, Doris?" I finally asked.
"Father Bob is coming to give out communion," she replied matter-of-factly. "I'm setting it up for him."
Oh brother, I thought. What do I do now? I needed to distract her.
"Doris, Father Bob called awhile ago and he isn't coming today." I tried to sound convincing. "Let's put the communion cups away until later."
Ideas inside a brain with dementia can turn around so fast it leaves you wondering what happened.
"What are you talking about?" Doris asked with confusion in her voice. "These are the cocktails for my party guests."
I knew more about serving drinks than I did about serving communion. I went to get a tray.
You would be surprised at the number of people you can find awake and thirsty at 5:30 in the morning. Before long Doris and I had passed out all of those cranberry shooters. Then Doris passed out onto her favorite lounge chair to take a nap. After all, she had worked hard first setting up communion and then throwing a party.
I went back to doing whatever I had been doing before I got sidetracked when I ran into the nurse.
"What happened to my pitcher of juice?" she wanted to know.
"I don't have the foggiest clue." I lied to her and hurried away.
She soon found another pitcher of juice and finished her business in the neighborhood.
Now you have to admit that a story as great as Doris and the communion cups was too good to keep to myself, so I shared it with my coworkers. Word got back to the nurse, and she hunted me down.
"Why didn't you stop Doris from taking my juice?"
I wanted to tell her, "What is your problem? You found some more juice. Besides, Doris had a ball and we hydrated 20 people."... as much as you can hydrate someone with 30ccs of cranberry juice.
I wanted to tell her that but I get intimidated by authority figures, so I just told her the first thing that popped into my head.