Stroking my hair
It is important to remember that every dementia or Alzheimer's diagnosis is different, and every person is unique. But one thing I have noticed, is that those with dementia often have different perceptions and boundaries when it comes to "personal space", sometimes coming within inches of me, or following me round. But I absolutely don't mind this, in fact, I quite like it!
At two of the care homes I have visited this week, I was singing in the advanced dementia units and there were lots of lovely residents up and dancing with both me, the staff, and each other. One lady never sat down the entire hour!
As I knelt down to engage with a particular gentleman (who knew all the lyrics!) I felt a hand gently stroke my hair... I looked up to see a beautiful lady called Brenda, with whom I had been previously dancing. She looked down at me with a huge beaming smile!
Brenda unfortunately struggled with her speech and language processing, so I think that stroking my hair was her way of showing affection and maybe saying "thank you". It warmed my heart and brought a tear to my eye!
I don't mind when residents come up close to me during sessions... I know that they are never meaning to be rude or invade my space, they simply want to say "hello", to join in the singing, have a dance, or say "thank you". Every time someone comes near to me, I see it as a blessing that they feel they can trust me and it warms my heart.