Sometimes you need to be insistent, but the best thing you can do and — some people don’t understand this, they think it can be somewhat cruel, but it is absolutely not — you have to play into their fantasy, for lack of a better word. Maybe you have a resident who’s looking for their mother, and they’re very concerned because they can’t find their mother, and they’re getting very insistent. They’re at the point where they’re almost in tears. Maybe they are in tears. They’re starting to get very agitated.

You have to play into that fantasy because at that point, you cannot reason with them to say, “No, no, they’re not here. Your mom is gone.” All that’s going to do is further upset them, and you do not want to cause further hurt or emotional discomfort and distress for the resident. In a situation like that, I might say, “Your mom called. She’ll be here in a little while.” It kind of depends what they’re telling you, [and] you can cater your response to [the situation]. But the best thing is to play into whatever they feel is real then.