A daughter whose mother has dementia found a way to help her mom in a unique way. A nurse shared a photo of a whiteboard with notes the woman left for her mother — comforting and helpful sentences that to many would seem to be common sense, but for someone with the condition, know that these comforting words are so vital.
The picture was shared on Reddit with the explanation: “Words of reassurance left for an elderly lady with dementia by her daughter. A simple white board left in her sight line in her sitting room. Helped to reduce constant anxious phone calls.”
It was a simple enough list of items:
Your meals are paid for.
You are not moving.
No one else is moving.
Keep drinking, it will help your memory.
You don’t owe anyone any money.
You haven’t upset anyone.
The image sparked a discussion among those who have had a loved one live with this disease, including one commenter who noted: “That’s awesome! I had a resident that always asked for the bill after meals. I would tell him I got it this time, next time you pay. Then he would offer to help pick up dishes and clean up dining room. He was a great guy.”
Others chimed in with additional reminders, with one person pointing out: “Water. Many patients with dementia forget to drink water and are very dehydrated. Being properly hydrated helps the brain work properly. It’s the most awful of diseases truly.”
Another person noted that they would need to add: “Your cousin died 10 years ago. Your aunt and uncle don’t live next door. They died 30 years ago in Wisconsin. That’s your daughter in the other room. She didn’t kidnap you. You are home. You’re talking to me on your phone in your kitchen. (My number is on the white board… 911 was getting the kidnapping calls).”
Others found the discussion really frightening, as one commenter shared: “That’s terrifying. Thinking that my parents could end up like that is terrifying, thinking that I could end up like that is terrifying. It’s all scary as sh*t.”
Another person with first-hand experience shared this perspective: “Having worked in a dementia ward, I really do hope doctor assisted suicide is available by the time I reach old age. I would want to go out as myself, before being reduced to a husk. It’s not living no matter how good the care is.”
Interestingly, one person noted how the owing money line rings true, explaining: “So many of my patients with dementia have anxiety about owing someone money or needing to pay for where they are. This reassurance is hugely beneficial.”
Another person wondered why people don’t make “videos like the one in ’50 first dates’ for people with dementia. Let them see their loved ones frequently on video, reassuring them and giving them updates.”
Another commenter responded: “It would be pretty pointless though, unless they were watching it on repeat. It’s not like the film where she forgets every morning and then is with it all day. A person with dementia can forget things 10 seconds after being told.”
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