Advocacy, Antipsychotic drugs, NHBPS, Toward better care

walk a mile in my alzheimer’s shoes

Walk a mile in my shoes 2

This is another in the series of vignettes I’ve create based on the Nursing Home Behaviour Problem Scale (NHBPS), which is used to measure agitation in people who live with dementia. The vignettes are told from the point of view and in the voice of a fictional character called Annie, a woman in her mid-eighties who lives with dementia of the Alzheimer’ type in the mid- to later-stages of the disease. Annie resides in a long-term care facility somewhere in Canada. This vignette is called “mile after mile.” There’s a link to all the vignettes at the end of the post.  


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mile after mile

There’s a door at the end of the hall. I think it’s a door. It looks like a door. Maybe I can get out that way.

Stand up. Rubbery legs. A little unsteady. Wait. Take a step. I did it. Take another step. Everything is kind of blurry. Legs are a little shaky. Go slow. Go slow. Stay close to the wall. There’s a railing. Hold on to the railing. Don’t fall. Take another step. Take another step. Take another step. It’s a long way. Keep going.

A door. A handle. Hold the handle. Push it down. Lean against the door. It won’t open. Stuck? Try again. The door won’t open. Try again. No, it won’t open. Turn around. Keep walking. What’s down there? Keep walking. An old lady in a wheelchair. She’s asleep. Keep walking. An old lady in a wheelchair. She’s awake.

“Where are you going?” the old lady says.

“I’m going home,” I say.

“I want to go home too.”


Keep trying to go home. I have to get out of here. Mummy will be worried about me. She’ll wonder where I am. I need to get home. Here’s a door. Grab the handle. Push it down. Lean forward. It doesn’t open. Turn around. There must be a way out. Keep walking. Keep walking.

Keep trying to go home.

© Susan Macaulay / 2016

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3 thoughts on “walk a mile in my alzheimer’s shoes”

  1. What a fabulous way of demonstrating that “not all who wander are lost” (J. R. R. Tolkien quote from The Fellowship of the Ring)


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