Standing in line for tickets recently, I overheard the conversation behind me. The elderly gentleman kept asking a young woman, apparently his daughter, why they were in line. We at MemoTouch understand this situation very well! He obviously had some dementia, and she was getting tired of telling him time after time that they were getting basketball tickets.
It was also obvious that he was a die-hard basketball fan. His varsity-style jacket and baseball cap proclaimed his school colors loudly. And when he had occasion to discuss the game, he seemed to know all the offensive and defensive moves and coaching strategies very well. He just couldn’t remember the players’ names, or why he was in line.
I happened to have a form for ticket purchases in my handbag. It had a diagram of the arena along with a schedule of games. I asked if he’d like to see it. He took it and glanced at it, and then held onto it. He thought it was his after a couple minutes, and that was fine with me. His daughter suggested he give it back, and I said No, I appreciated someone taking it off my hands.
The ticket brochure did the trick. Every time he wondered why he was in line, he saw that brochure and understood. It took several more minutes for us to get up to the window, and he didn’t ask about standing in line again. A good lesson for family members, I thought: put something in their hands or environment to remind them.
I wish all memory problems were that easy to solve!