Never Argue With Dementia (and Other Nuggets of Nursing Wisdom) - page 3

by VivaLasViejas Guide

16,036 Views | 66 Comments

It never fails....you're walking down the hall to check on your new patient when you hear an aide loudly attempting to persuade sweet, confused, deaf-as-a-post Ethel to get into bed "BECAUSE IT'S NIGHTTIME AND EVERYONE IS GOING... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    I've packed bags and sat in train stations.
    I've doled out payroll.
    I've taken dictation.
    I've gone shopping.
    I've checked the stove.
    I've travelled to 1952 and back.
    Man, we do a lot with our dementia patients!
    I seem to spend a lot of time checking train timetables, planning trips, finding out why husbands are late home from work, making sure the baby is okay, reassuring people they don't have to worry about the cost of staying another night because the room is 'on the house' tonight, and agreeing that it's very irritating the way these meals are served at unsuitable times but suggesting we probably should all have something to eat while the food is there.
  2. 2
    Quote from CompleteUnknown
    I seem to spend a lot of time checking ...why husbands are late home from work...
    Oh...
    That is the worst!

    I did have one patient who got excited when we told her that her husband, Joe, was coming to visit.
    She would giggle and get in a dither and insist she had to "put her face on" for Joe.
    We would help her put some lipstick on and reassure her that she looked pretty.
    It was so cute!
    But Joe was her second husband and she would sometimes forget that.
    So, she would have periods where she would travel back to when she was married the first time (to a man who had cheated on her).
    She would fret and, literally, wring her hands over how she thought he was cheating on her.
    Reassurances otherwise did not work. This was a real experience and she was time-warped right back into it... not even remembering Joe.
    The pain she was experiencing was heart-breaking and there was nothing we could do, but she did get a lot of hugs.
  3. 5
    When I was first a CNA, I worked with Maxim Healthcare. I was sent to a place that had locked Alzheimers unit and of course that is where the "agency guy" was always assigned. I loved to watch the old CNA's work with the demented patients. I learned right away that there is no reasoning or logic or redirection for someone with advanced dementia. You just gotta role with it. The saddest thing though was a little old lady from Norway. Every night while the bulk of the patients began to pack up their stuff to go home cause it's getting dark, she would cower in her bed and call out over and over on the call light making sure that we had locked the doors and were keeping a look out. She had lived during the time of WWII and was terrified that the Germans were coming. That was certainly one of the most heart breaking things to date that I have experienced all of these years later.
  4. 1
    Luv your writing style!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. 0
    My late grandmother suffered from dementia and later, Alzheimer's Disease. She passed away last June at the tender age of 97....
  6. 7
    I had an 85 year old woman convinced she was in labour now night. She streamed, she yelled. Finally, at 2 in the am, I "delivered" the baby, showed him to her and then took him to the nursery. She slept the rest of the night!
  7. 5
    as a nsg student, i was inevitably kicked off my psych rotation on the locked units, because i defied my instructor's direction in reorienting to reality.
    i just couldn't and wouldn't do it.
    instinctively it felt so wrong...
    and there was no way in hell i was going to try and persuade an end-stage aids pt (with encephalopathy) that aliens weren't going to take his baby (as he clutched onto a doll).
    i wasn't going to try and persuade a paranoid schizophrenic that i wasn't one of the "good guys"...
    that i was a sn named leslie, and you my dear, are locked in a psych unit because you're a sick, sick person.
    trust is imperative in caring for one with brain disease, and any type of reorienting, only appears as a lie to them...
    exacerbating their tendency for paranoia, agitation, bewilderment, etc.

    i promised the end-stage aids pt, that nothing would happen to his baby, as i tenderly took it from him and cradled it.
    i reassured the acutely paranoid schizophrenic, that yes, i was one of the good guys.
    it made them feel much better, it made me feel better...
    and irritated the living **** out of my instructor.

    win/win/win.

    thanks for this article, viva.
    i hope all newbies and students heed your advice.

    leslie
    tayloramaRN2be, teeniebert, mendu, and 2 others like this.
  8. 4
    I had a lady keep insisting there were gnats swarming above her in the bed. At first I told her I didn't see any gnats. She wouldn't stop worrying about the gnats though. Finally, I said, "oh yeah....i see them," and I proceeded to swat them away with my hand and proclaimed, "there...they're gone." She looked at me and said, "are you crazy? that's not going to do anything!"
  9. 1
    Quote from minnymi
    I had a lady keep insisting there were gnats swarming above her in the bed. At first I told her I didn't see any gnats. She wouldn't stop worrying about the gnats though. Finally, I said, "oh yeah....i see them," and I proceeded to swat them away with my hand and proclaimed, "there...they're gone." She looked at me and said, "are you crazy? that's not going to do anything!"
    That is hilarious!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from leslie :-D
    as a nsg student, i was inevitably kicked off my psych rotation on the locked units, because i defied my instructor's direction in reorienting to reality.
    i just couldn't and wouldn't do it.
    instinctively it felt so wrong...
    and there was no way in hell i was going to try and persuade an end-stage aids pt (with encephalopathy) that aliens weren't going to take his baby (as he clutched onto a doll).
    i wasn't going to try and persuade a paranoid schizophrenic that i wasn't one of the "good guys"...
    that i was a sn named leslie, and you my dear, are locked in a psych unit because you're a sick, sick person.
    trust is imperative in caring for one with brain disease, and any type of reorienting, only appears as a lie to them...
    exacerbating their tendency for paranoia, agitation, bewilderment, etc.

    i promised the end-stage aids pt, that nothing would happen to his baby, as i tenderly took it from him and cradled it.
    i reassured the acutely paranoid schizophrenic, that yes, i was one of the good guys.
    it made them feel much better, it made me feel better...
    and irritated the living **** out of my instructor.

    win/win/win.

    thanks for this article, viva.
    i hope all newbies and students heed your advice.

    leslie
    Now that's what I call WINNING all right!!!

    I love to hear these stories........makes me feel we are doing something very, very right. Thank you, everyone!
    leslie :-D likes this.


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