Another World, meaning the world in which someone lives with Alzheimer’s.
They are trapped in time … trapped inside their mind in an inner world that clashes with their surroundings. Of course, they are unaware of this and are not waiting or wanting to be brought back into the “real world.”
Instead, they look for someone who will validate their version of reality. The world inside of their mind is as real to them as the world inside of our minds is to us. It is important for family and friends to recognize this. Don’t waste your time trying to convince a person with Alzheimer’s that they are wrong or trying to explain reality to them. Instead, join them in their world. I’ve watched far too many spouses and adult children become frustrated; frustrated to the point of anger and resentment.
Remember the Person
Everyone is a person first and foremost; regardless of their diagnosis. Try to remember the person you once knew … their personality, what it was you liked about them. Place yourself in their shoes. Ask them about their family, their relationships, and their past … take the time to listen to what they are willing and able to share.
- SHOW COMPASSION – you never know what sort of pain a person is concealing and how much you are able to comfort them by listening and showing you care.
- BE PATIENT – often, a person who is seen as stubborn and confused, turns out to be a valuable source of wisdom, if you are willing to listen.
So if you find yourself in the presence of someone who is in another world (their world of the past), remember that you cannot rid them of their disease by getting them to return to the present moment. Instead, focus on finding ways to help them live in a dignified and graceful way.