Orienting to (Someone Else’s) REALITY

This entry is written by Truthful Loving Kindness (yes, that is my full legal name) for publishing at http://www.truthfulkindness.com , so PLEASE address any questions or comments to that website, regardless of which website shows these words. 

Even with early-to-mid-stage symptoms, i have great difficulty when told that my REALITY is not real — but someone else’s reality is real. What i see, hear, smell, touch, and taste (yes there are also taste hallucinations) is unreliable.  … So …

it leaves me as a nothing.
it obliterates my sense of SELF
which is integral to my well-being.

This is true whether hallucination or simply delusion.  In EARLY stages, “orientation to reality” (“consensus reality” >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_reality ) can be helpful, because we still have the ability to reason-out the logical conclusions, but in mid-to-later stages it becomes much more complex on whether these efforts can be helpful or not.

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When i remember that i have dementia symptoms, then i can ask for your input, put ear plugs in (to figure out if it is sound hallucination), maybe take a photo (to figure out if it is visual hallucination).  … and even right now, sometimes i forget that i have dementia symptoms, and it is helpful (at this stage) to remind me that i have hallucinations.  

Later it will not be helpful to remind me that i have hallucinations.  it will NOT be helpful to try to orient me to consensus reality. 

it will be good if you have done a bit of practice with “improv” when i get to that point.  >> https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/how-improv-helping-patients-alzheimers-disease .  Improv techniques allow the care-partner to “step into my world” and go with the flow of ideas instead of forcing MY world to try to conform to the reality that does not exist for ME.

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Here is a 10-minute video that illustrates improv benefits when family or care-partner for a Person Living with Dementia symptoms.  It begins with the principles in Links above, but takes it a bit further.  ((However, for ME, i would prefer you do not agree to something that is not true; perhaps instead of “Yes and …” it might be better to say “Oh i didnt know that — and … ” .))

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Links:

In addition to the Links above, this one is good >> https://www.seniorsguide.com/alzheimers-dementia/improv-for-dementia-interaction-methods-for-memory-loss-patients/ .

Types of Hallucinations by Truthful Kindness at https://truthfulkindness.com/2020/01/26/hallucination-types/ ;  

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… For early-to-moderate stages i have gathered LINKS for dementia symptoms and Strategies (alphabetized) at >> https://truthfulkindness.com/about/d-info/links-sx-strategies/.  

. For more advanced stages Teepa Snow has excellent series called “Making Visits Valuable” beginning at >>

… and Listing at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2E2lPBsUeBjA1Utglo8q6yANAijEf8cX .

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Tags: alzheimers, caregiver, delusion, dementia, hallucination, improv, person with dementia, PLwD, reality, symptoms, strategy.  S&S categ: delusion, hallucination, improv, reality.

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