Wednesday, May 11, 2016

If I Get Dementia, Don’t Treat Me Like a Child

If I Get Dementia, How I Want to Be Treated

On behalf of those who have the disease, a caregiver offers requests for how to treat people with dementia.

A woman who works with people with dementia knows how she would want to be treated if she had the disease and offers her own list of “16 Things I Would Want, If I Get Dementia.” Rachael Wonderlin, the director of Memory Care at Blue Harbor Senior Living, specializes in long-term dementia care. Her first request:


"If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. I’ll be much happier for it."


She would also ask that you “ask me to tell you a story from my past” and wants you to know that she “still likes receiving hugs or handshakes.” Whatever you do, “don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room.”

For a list of all 16 requests for how to treat people with dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Reading Room.