In this medium, of course, we have to imagine a little harder.
For this example, imagine the Nurse offering pills in The Cup:
“Take your meds”
First, imagine you have significant Dementia: you lack the ability to remember much of anything past five minutes, so moment to moment you have to surmise as best you can where you are. At the moment, you think you’re in your own home, minding your own business. Suddenly a young stranger approaches without warning offering an odd little plastic cup: “Take your meds.”
Who are they?
How did they get in here?
Are they dangerous?
Would you trust this strange uninvited intruder into YOUR home?
Would you accept the pills? What if it was some nasty-tasting powder (crushed meds) mixed in applesauce?
What if you asked them to explain themselves and they insisted you were in a nursing home or hospital, that you were sick, that they were taking care of you, they were in charge here?
Or “Doctor’s orders”?
Or they got angry and said they tell you to stop asking the same things over & over? (you don’t remember any previous times, not at all: what are they talking about?)
How cooperative would you be? How long would this simple interaction take to complete?
Second, imagine your memory if fine, but you have paranoid delusions: You’re on the run – there are government agents after you because of what you know. The Conspiracy managed to get you locked up in this so-called Psych Ward. You don’t know who you can trust. A stranger – an agent perhaps? shows you some pills in a cup: “Take your meds.” They could easily be poison, or some sort of mind control, or who knows what.
Would you take them?
Perhaps fake taking them while you figure out an escape plan?
There are many ways we could approach either patient, any of which would offer better results than blunt directions. If we can even vaguely see things from patients’ point of view, we can find ways to win their trust and coöperation.
If we ignore their point of view, everyone suffers for it, including us.
Make sense? Any ideas?