If you do not have dementia, it may be hard to understand what goes on in someone’s mind after memory, perception, and reasoning become impaired.
As dementia progresses, loved ones often struggle to get those answers from patients who can no longer articulate their thoughts in sentences. Their words and feelings keep flowing in unrelated segments, as if they were slices of wisdom that run crisscrossing in tangled pathways. Sometimes we grasp a glimpse of the true nature of their momentary state, only to realize that that thought is already gone, and the person has already moved into another mysterious realm of their minds.
Occasionally, however, a patient with dementia expresses themselves with such clarity and brilliance that it ushers us into a clear understanding of what their minds are experiencing. And it can be amazing!
Such a moment happened recently, while one of our residents was walking around and around our community. Villa Alamar is designed to promote safe ambulation, with tree-lined paths that flow in and out of the home, allowing open passage for a continuous strolling, whether it is day or night. Residents can always be seen walking or lounging, enjoying nature in our beautiful gardens, in the safety of our community.
It was towards the end of the day, a time when the condition known as sundowning compels memory care residents to move and go, going to places only they know where. Mr. Kline was going. And in his going he went on and on, until he stopped by one of our caregivers to announce:
“I am in a movie scene that keeps repeating itself,” Mr. Kline said, “and the movie never ends.”
Not waiting for any reply, he resumed his walking. And going on he went, the star of his own movie.