For behavior management, Beatitudes plumbs residents’ biographies, soothing one woman, Ruth Ann Clapper, by dabbing on White Shoulders perfume, which her biographical survey indicated she had worn before becoming ill. Food became available constantly, a canny move, Ms. Dougherty said, because people with dementia might be “too distracted” to eat during group mealtimes, and later “be acting out when what they actually need is food.”
Realizing that nutritious, low-salt, low-fat, doctor-recommended foods might actually discourage people from eating, Ms. Alonzo began carrying chocolate in her pocket. “For God’s sake,” Ms. Mullan said, “if you like bacon, you can have bacon here.”
Comforting food improves behavior and mood because it “sends messages they can still understand: ‘it feels good, therefore I must be in a place where I’m loved,’ ” Ms. Dougherty said.
Monday, January 17, 2011
New York Times Article
The New York Times published a very good article on keeping a person with dementia happy and content. The article showcases a nursing facility, but many of the suggestions made can easily be adopted for a home environment. A long article, three pages on-line, it's worth the time to read. Here is one excerpt: