As the group grows in size the positive energy is increased and more people are singing. Often in these later moments, we will see people living with aphasia, singing with us, singing with the group, a simple word. Singing “Love” – over and over with both of us, and the entire group, encouraging each other. The room always changes after that song, like turning on the wake-up switch!
One of the first things that is affected by dementia is the ability to smell, and Margaret surely suffered in this way. The regular CNAs knew that it was best to catch her already in her room and then offer her the underclothing while she was on the toilet, otherwise she might just deck you. We knew it was best to suggest that she might want to use the bathroom and hope she could piece together your words.
So Hollis invited him to dance with their words and an outreached hand…. the first time he didn’t respond. The second time, he reached out and took Hollis’ hand and immediately gave loving soft eyes to Hollis. Eyes can speak so deeply and hold many truths, and when Hollis has discovered such a softness within a person, it’s hard to resist revisiting throughout the program.