My somewhat obsessive behaviour about feeling ‘right’ within a space …. seems to be getting even more obsessive as the years go by ! So I reckon that in x years time if I were to be in a care home setting I would be an utter nightmare for carers !!! ‘Can’t sit here! I want to sit there! She’ll have to move then !!!’
The other day I was half way through a reminiscence show when a lovely lady ( who was enjoying the show) started asking for something – quietly…. I went close to her and heard her more clearly – she wanted to move position in the room – gesturing towards a spot where another lady was sat ! She was in a wheelchair so I said I was not good at wheelchairs but when the carer came back in she could try to move…..( I carried on singing and defused the situation for a while!) The lady was happy – but she asked again after the end of the show…. so I found a carer and mentioned the request….. she immediately came and found a solution with a little bit of chair moving! Not all carers to be honest might have responded so promptly – and I do understand – after all it would be tricky to respond to absolutely every individual request all the time………. but I must say this is one request I was VERY sensitive to ! I know how agitated I feel ( without dementia) when I am not sitting where I feel comfortable!
I get wierd if I have my back to the room in a cafe…. or sat too close to where the loos are….. or sat with back to view…. or….. well – I am picky !! But I CAN express my requirements and nearly always be where I want to be! Sounds can annoy me too – too much noise, too little noise, wrong kind of noise… TV on at volume that is barely audible ( rather have it louder or OFF!) This list is quite long – all these little personal quirks of likes and dislikes ! And actually I am quite an easy going person !
So some of that agitated behaviour seen in a person with a dementia might be nothing more than – sat in the wrong place? Too warm…. too cold ( I hate sitting under the air conditioning vent in coffee shops!)…. chair too high, too low…. too many cushions…. not enough… !!! I know compromises have to be made – but maybe sometimes a simple adjustment could make a world of difference? Just a thought !
Ah …… the other side of this could be simply – ‘that’s MY place!’ – It’s where I feel at home, secure and safe?
When it comes to personal obsessions about environmental needs – my biggest one is – getting outside and close to nature – tress, birdsong etc….. this is an interesting post on that very subject :-