My husband and I have started raising chickens, laying hens to be more exact. This is a new experiment for us. We started out small with our livestock, honey bees, and now we're onto larger animals, maybe next year we'll get some goats and sheep.
What has this to do with dementia?
To get the hens to come to us, to think of us as the source of all good things (food, water, and safety) whenever we go to the coop, we bring a gift. Some yummy gift. Slugs, broccoli leaves, lettuce, tomato ends, Japanese beetles, clover flowers... all stuff from the garden. This week my husband has started bringing the hens blueberries. They love blueberries!
(All the animals in my yard love the blueberries: robins, bluejays, chipmunks, and even the wild turkeys. It's quite a sight to see the turkeys flying up into the blueberry bushes.)
Just like when I visit the hens, when I visit Mom, I try to bring her a gift. It could be a magazine, a photo (old or new), a dvd, or maybe her favorite licorice. (I don't count clothing and pads as gifts, she likes nor desires either, they only cause arguments. I now try to hide the clothing I bring, and sneak them into her drawers when she's otherwise occupied.)
Today I'll bring Mom a pint of blueberries.
I'm sure we'll talk about the time we went blueberry picking up on the mountain and she carried my newborn son in the backpack. I'm sure we'll talk about the forever-blue diapers from the toddler who sat in the middle of the bushes and ate and ate and ate. I'm sure we'll talk about her Dad, the reluctant picker, who stuffed his blueberry pail with pine-needles so he only had to pick enough berries to cover the pine-needles.
Let's go jog some old blueberry memories.