A woman is doing her shopping, suddenly she doesn’t quite know where she is, and everything looks strange. She can’t even remember how she got there, or how to get home. She becomes upset, she walks to the front of the store and out the door with a basket of items unpaid for. The store employee chases her, accuses her of stealing. She is frightened now, she has no idea what this man is talking about. He is calling the police, terror is coursing through her. She knows this is a nightmare but she can’t seem to wake up! People are all around her, they look angry. Then one person comes slowly toward her, smiling gently, he approaches from the front, extends his hand to shake hers and introduces himself. He says he is there to help and that everything will be okay. He asks everyone to please back away and give them some space. He assures the store employee that he will get the basket but please just give him a few minutes. He then turns back to the woman and again tells her his name and this time she responds by telling him her name. She is calming down and things are beginning to clear in her mind. He ask her if he can have the basket so the store employee can take it back inside. She is surprised to find it in her hand. The man invites her to sit on the bench and they begin having a conversation about the weather, their families, and their homes. The police have arrived but they don’t approach, they can see that the man knows what to do. After a short time the man has found out how to contact her family, and they come to the store to get her. The outcome is a good one. Without that one person, this could have been very different. The woman might have gotten lost and wandered far away from her home and family, the police might have arrested her for stealing, but one person knew what to do and changed the outcome.
Do you want to be that one person? It takes about fifteen minutes to do the Purple Cities Training and when you are finished you will know how to recognize someone having confusion, someone who needs help. You can be the person who changes the situation from one of terror to calm and safe.
It’s hard to imagine how it feels to suddenly be lost in a familiar place. It’s hard to imagine how it feels to not understand what used to be a normal everyday experience. But you can be that one person who knows how to approach, what to say and what not to say.
Join The Purple Cities Alliance and learn how to make your community a safe place for your neighbors who have dementia. One day it could be your family member who needs help…or maybe even you!
Be the one! Training is quick, easy and free! We will come to your club meeting, staff meeting, church group…anywhere. Just go to our website and click the contact us!