I noticed something odd this morning.
If her food is already on the table when she sits down, she often stares into space and ignores it. She won’t start eating until I prompt her to do so.
This morning, she was already seated at the table as I put things on her placemat. She started eating immediately, with no prompting. As I thought back, this seems to be the case most of the times I’ve served her after she sat down.
She always sits in the same place at the table with her placemat. This is part of our Routine. The placemat helps her know where to sit.
[Routine is not just a timeline or schedule of events; Routine is also how we do things and where we do them.]
I always put her morning meds in a paper soufflé cup in the top left corner of her placemat. Her napkin goes to the left of her plate or bowl. Her cup with a straw is on the top right. I put her fork or spoon on the plate or in the bowl; this helps her know which utensil to use when more than one is required for a meal such as soup and salad.
Today, she watched me carefully place each of these items. Then she began eating.
Clearly, I need to remember this. I need to let her sit down BEFORE I put her plate or bowl on the table.
(Breakfast is Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and granola. Yum!)
I learned Routine from “Dementia with Grace” by Vicky Noland Fitch. It’s a wonderful book for caregivers. So full of helpful information about dementia and how to care for those suffering from it.