‘People living with dementia can continue to engage in creative and meaningful ways’
Consider the following scenario: A man with Alzheimer's living in a long-term care home hits his table mates at meal times. Is this a symptom of dementia requiring medication or some other form of restraint? I urge a closer look.
Suppose you observe that the man removes his hat before entering the dining room, and then proceeds to hit only those wearing hats. Also take into account that he has lost the ability to speak. His "aggressive behaviour" can then be seen for what it is: disapproval of people who don't remove their hat before dining.
It’s a meaningful expression of his respect for table etiquette, and clearly a custom he values. Rather than restraining him, it’s more humane to reassign seating so he’s not at a table with other diners who are wearing hats.
We assume that with Alzheimer’s there is a loss of self, but that’s not so. People living with this disease continue to engage in creative and meaningful ways through verbal and non-verbal expressions.
Pia is a researcher whose work challenges Western culture's assumption that cognition alone defines us as human. People living with this disease continue to engage in creative and meaningful ways through verbal and non-verbal expressions.
Read more about what she's learned >