I recently learned that just as soon as our hippocampus is developed, it begins to dissipate – leaving us with fading memories. It is no wonder that I have a hard time finding my keys – or that my elderly clients cannot ever find their purses, mail that is important, lists that they have made or a number of other things. There have been times when I have been asked as to whether or not I have taken something and put it elsewhere when I have never seen the object in the first place.
How do I handle this situation? Calmly and without the pangs of sadness that ordinarily come when someone accuses you of something – especially if you are not guilty is this very hurtful. Seniors do not even know what they are accusing you of half of the time and the other half of the time, they forget that they have even said anything in the first place. As a caregiver, you have to let the accusations roll off of your back like water on a duck’s back.
What you can do is to agree that the object is misplaced and offer to help locate it. This way you appear to your client’s advocate and not accusing them of losing the item in the first place. They will feel that you are their friend – which you should be because With Age Comes Respect and no matter how bad their memory is, they truly deserve your respect!