Funny & Cute Things Our Demented Patients Say

The intended purpose of this article is to use the written word to capture some lighthearted memories and recollections about the funny and sometimes cute statements that my demented patients have made over the years. Working with the demented elderly population can be interesting. Specialties Geriatric Article


You are reading page 9 of Funny & Cute Things Our Demented Patients Say


11 Posts

I saw a post on this thread about reality orientation in patients with dementia and it reminded me of a story from my days on stroke/neuro.

We had a lady who had what I like to call goldfish syndrome: they're only able to remember things for 5-10 seconds, then the cycle repeats. This lady was convinced she was in her "younger days" and get very upset when we told her the year. She had wandered down to the end of the hall where our large windows were. The CNA was attempting to get her back to her room for lunch with no success. The CNA had gotten me and told me what was going on. I went to the patient and struck up a conversation with "HI! Whatcha doing?". She told me she was watching Hitler March across the battlefield with his bombs. I said, "Well, if there are bombs going off, should we move back to your room where it's safer, without these big windows that could break?". The patient got right up and let me lead her to her room. No fuss, no being upset. We chatted while she ate lunch, and things went beautifully after that.

I always thought it had to be difficult to be a patient with dementia, especially if someone is telling you that what you believe to be true isn't. I always looked at the situation, and as long as it wasn't harmful, sometimes it's better for the patient if we go to their reality instead of trying to bring them to ours. It isn't about it being easier, but about being better for the patient, especially in cases where the alteration in mental status is permanent. My own two cents, but it comes from a place of care and respect for our elderly. I always figured if you made it 70, 80, or 90-some years, you earned the right for me to meet you "at your place" in a way.


19 Posts

Specializes in progressive care, cardiac step-down.

96 yo F with advanced dementia wouldn't take her pills from the new grad I was orienting because she needed to ask her mother first. I advised the nurse to tell her something along the lines of "these medicines are to help you be healthy, I know my mom wants me to be healthy, and I bet yours does too". Turns out, pt thought the nurse was a teenager trying to get her to take drugs. Took them right down for me!

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