Covered Mirrors – Reduced Agitation
Tuesday, June 21, 2017, 11:30 am EDST, 68°F (20°C), Beautiful, sunny blue sky with white puffy clouds
On this beautiful day, Sumi and I are sitting in our minivan parked in the driveway, Hindi music is playing on. Sumi is very relaxed as I am wring this message.
I had mentioned earlier that as a caregiver one needs to learn to be good detective and (an amateur) behavioral scientist to decipher Sumi’s behavior and react to it proactively.
You have seen Sumi’s video of few days ago wherein she is covering her face with her hair. I know Sumi does not like to watch TV, so I have reduced our TV watching in the night-time only. However, when the TV is not on in the daytime, she was getting agitated and after looking at various factors that may be contributing to her agitation, I decided to cover up the TV screen with a white cloth. Since then, I have noticed that her agitation has gone down and she does not pull her hair in front of her face.
Sumi had stopped brushing her teeth about 3 weeks ago. Again, after some detective work, I covered up the vanity mirror in the bathroom with a white cloth. I left small opening in the cloth high enough so I can use it to shave and brush my teeth but Sumi cannot see herself in the mirror. For the last 3 days, Sumi has resumed brushing her teeth. This bathroom vanity mirror is also in front of the toilet seat and when Sumi is sitting on the toilet seat she can see herself in the mirror. Before covering the mirror, Sumi was agitated before doing her toilet. Again, for the last 3 days, going to toilet has become much easier for her. I also covered the other 2 big mirrors in the bathroom.
There is another mirror in the living room which is also covered so when we walk in the foyer to go to the living room or kitchen, she cannot see in that mirror.
In short, all mirrors where Sumi can see herself have been covered up and I have seen a markedly improvement (reduction) in her agitation.
The theory is that when people with AD see themselves in mirror, they may imagine that there is someone else in the room. They may also be not able to focus as images in the mirror are distractions for them.