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Yesterday, a lady messaged me that I was trying to lie when I said that you have tell your dementia patients a lie.

In fact, that is no longer the reality. Gone are the days when a patient asks you about their reality.

If the reality of a dementia patient is 1969, let it be 1969. If they say it’s 1975, let it be 1975.

My father passed away several months ago.

If you keep on telling me that my father is dead, I’ll keep on reliving that day that he passed away.

My mother passed away several years ago and if you keep on telling me that my mother is dead, I’ll be in a bad mood. I’ll just be depressed.

Gone are the days about reality orientation.

In the hospital, it’s a different situation. A lot of people – nurses, doctors – would ask where they are at, what’s your name?

There’s a reason for that.

It’s because you want to know if the person is alert or oriented on their time and their situation.

If it’s a dementia patient, and you don’t have to tell them that it’s 2016, or 2018 right now if they insist that it’s 1975.

Let it be, because it’s their world now.

You go into their word, you go into their situation, and that’s how you help your dementia patients.

You don’t insist that it’s 2018.

It’s the same thing when you are taking care of a loved one.

If they say that blue is red, then let it be red.

It’s their brain telling them that the color is red.

That’s how dementia works, it messes around with their cognitive level.

It messes around with their memory. It messes around with everything – your sensation, your vision, your hearing, your movement.

Let it be that way.


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About the author 

Dr Michael Chua PT, DPT

Dr Michael Chua is a physical therapist practising in Home Health, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Acute Care Hospital. His clinical interest involves pain management, geriatrics and dementia management. He enjoys treating patients and bringing out the best in them using positive treatment approaches, his dynamic work setting in a rural area provides an opportunity to treat a wide range from geriatrics to orthopaedics.

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