An image of these encouraging words scrawled across a whiteboard was actually shared by Dr. Philip Grimmer who was visiting one of his patients with the disease.
A daughter's reassuring messages for her mother with dementia are melting hearts all across the globe. An image of these encouraging words scrawled across a whiteboard was actually shared by Dr. Philip Grimmer who was visiting one of his patients with the disease. One entering their home, the doctor from Wiltshire, United Kingdom happened to notice the comforting text and instinctively decided to share it on Twitter hoping to emphasize the tremendous significance of this small effort. "Words of reassurance left for an elderly lady with dementia by her daughter," wrote Dr. Grimmer. "A simple whiteboard left in her sight line in her sitting room. Helped to reduce constant anxious phone calls [to relatives]."
Here's what the message read:
Words of reassurance left for an elderly lady with dementia by her daughter. A simple white board left in her sight line in her sitting room. Helped to reduce constant anxious phone calls. pic.twitter.com/K2ueZXuZWZ— Philip Grimmer (@GrimmPhil) January 26, 2019
When Dr. Grimmer uploaded this picture, he hoped that a few of his colleagues would appreciate his post. But what he never expected was the outpour of support and attention it would get. "Wow! I thought this tweet would be seen by a few interested colleagues. It’s now been seen over a million times and clearly touched people’s hearts around the world. Feeling impressed by the power of Twitter to share ideas! Also looking forwards to sharing all your responses with the lady who wrote this," he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Thank you. I will!— Philip Grimmer (@GrimmPhil) January 27, 2019
Sharing the reason behind sharing the message on Twitter, Dr. Grimmer told BBC, "I'd not seen anything like it before in thousands of house visits. It's caring, reassuring, and sensible - it's just such a simple idea." The powerful tweet served as an opportunity for others to share their ideas when it comes to helping those suffering from the unforgiving disease. "My father-in-law used electrical tape on the floor to mark the path from his mother's room to the bathroom to aid with nighttime wandering..." shared user Eric Wibbl.
We’ve been doing this. But knowing others do too, helps! Grandad lives with us and goes on and on and on about the trivialist of things... we have a book of laminated pages with the stock phrases “nobody is cross with you” “your medals are safe” “lunch will be at noon” to put out— fran (@beaconbabe) January 29, 2019
Another user @Kiml71 wrote, "I met an HCA today who cared for a patient this week that had been awake all night looking for his bus stop afraid he would miss his bus. She promptly made a bus stop sign, hung it on his IV stand and he fell asleep! Simple but great thinking!" Meanwhile, a third @TheaDickinson recalled, "When I was in hospital a few years ago an elderly man was walking in and out of the bays asking if anyone had seen his keys because he couldn't find them. A nurse gave him her car keys so he could have them next to his bed and get to sleep without worrying." They also revealed, "I always chat to the older patients when I'm in hospital. I'm always bored out of my mind waiting for test results, and they are often scared and on their own. It helps both of us!"
I write letters to my husband who at 36 has been diagnosed with early stages of dementia. Not only that I keep photos in a photo album to go with the letters to help keep his memories alive even if they aren't fresh to him— Vickie Lynn (@LynnVlynn30) January 30, 2019
Dr. Grimmer's post was also posted on Reddit where a nurse from Canada named Hailley shared, "I had one resident where I worked who would be in tears because he was worried about his children and having to pay for his meals. It was sometimes tough to reassure him. We had to call his children to talk to him a few times. It was hard to see him so upset." Speaking to BBC, she added, "I have seen people talk down to those with dementia, which is just not right. They are still adults who know when they are being treated differently. People just do not know how to interact with them. It takes patience and you may not be able to have a conversation with them in the same way you would with someone without dementia."
Here's the one we did for my mum. pic.twitter.com/Nf9oGOpyCr— Nick Brooks (@nicknoxx) January 26, 2019
Finally, she praised the text on the board saying, "The whiteboard addresses what gets asked the most [by those] in long-term care." Dementia is a bunch of symptoms that affects one's memory, thinking, and social abilities according to Mayo Clinic. As a result, it causes confusion, depression, paranoia, and anxiety among other things. People whose loves ones have dementia know just how difficult life's simple day-to-day tasks can be for them. That's why having someone or something that would constantly reassure and comfort them is extremely important. And the idea of placing this message where they can take a look whenever needed is simply brilliant.
Cover image source: Twitter | Philip Grimmer