If you are caring for a person living with dementia at home, Mondays with Mimi is where you can have your questions answered. In her 20 years at St. John’s, Mimi DeVinney (our Dementia/Quality of Life Specialist) has heard dozens of questions about caring for people living with dementia. Check this page on St. John’s Online Dementia Resource Center to see Mimi’s answers to submitted questions.

Do I keep photos on a digital picture frame if the dementia viewer does not recognize them any longer? -Sue L.

Some people really enjoy watching those frames. I’ve been told to move out of the way because I was blocking the view, and once someone said to me, “Look, you’re coming soon!” because she’d watched so often she knew what was coming next! If your loved one enjoys watching, then I would leave it alone.  Maybe you can have a regular photo album with labelled pictures of the family members nearby, so people can help identify the people in the frame. You can switch up the pictures from time to time, and see how she responds. She might recognize older pictures better, of her own parents or childhood. You can even add pictures of things she likes: favorite flowers, birds, or places. Sometimes it’s nicer to look at pictures than to try to follow the plot of a TV show.

I took 24/7 care of my husband until he passed in April. He was a gentle man clean until the end. He told me that he loved me about two weeks before he died. He had only one word answers after that. Is it normal for a dementia person not to have any expression of face? I never knew if I was giving him the kind of care he wanted. I did everything, and he did not complain. He was never in pain. He just quietly slipped away. I just worry with the question, “Did I do enough?” “Was I doing it correctly?” “Did he know that I loved him dearly?” I had hospice in four days a week and we/I kept him clean, dry, warm, well fed, etc. He was just such an appreciative husband for over 53 years. – Bev S.

Ask Mimi

If you have a question for Mimi related to dementia care at home, use this form to contact her.