"Did you ask Margaret where she was going?" These were the words from one of my clients as she was waking up from her nap. Knowing in my mind that I had not been introduced to Margaret, I simply stated, "No, I was not able to ask her." This response might seem a bit outlandish to some individuals on the outside, but I wanted to preserve my client's feelings. I did not want to make her feel as though she was speaking out of the blue, making her feel uncomfortable.
When a client or loved one speaks to you in terms that you do not understand, it might be best to use ambiguity of pronouns to substitute for your not knowing. As I stated, I wanted to spare my client's dignity. My experience was months ago, and now that I know my client a bit more, I might respond a differently if it were to happen again. It all depends on what kind of bond you have with your loved one. Some individuals may feel more comfortable using the non-verbal technique of ambiguity. Whichever technique chosen, we want to make sure our Alzheimer's patients are at the center of our reasoning and responses from the heart.
Has anyone had someone with Alzheimer's ask them a question that made no sense? How did you respond?