When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can be devastating. It is hard to deal with the gradual erosion of their short-term and then long-term memories. When our loved ones no longer recognize us, it can be incredibly heartbreaking.
They suddenly don’t know your name, face and how you are related. They may even confuse their children to be their parents. You may remember the lessons your parents taught, the love they shared with your spouse, or the fun times you had together, but they simply don’t recognize you anymore. It’s as if you’ve vanished from their consciousness. Dementia has robbed them of the opportunity to know their grandkids and great-grandkids, to grow old with the love of their life, and to spend quality time with you and other loved ones.
How do you cope when your parent forgets who you are? What can you do when your spouse or friend looks at you as if you were a stranger?
The team at NursePartners understands that caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly difficult, and it usually comes with its fair share of heartache. However, there are still things that you can do. This article will explore how you can help them remember you.
Strategies for Helping a Relative with Dementia Remember
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, memory loss and confusion are usually the first signs that something has gone awry. You may observe that your loved one forgets recent events while they have zero problems remembering their wedding day, how they got their first job, or when they skipped school to hang out with friends.
Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost. There are some practical ways you can help your loved one to remember their connection to you:
- Introduce them to activities or hobbies they enjoyed when you were in the picture. These may include watching their favorite movies, playing songs they love, gardening, or studying a foreign language. And speaking of other languages, check out this video which may give you a glimmer of hope.
- Hang photos that capture special moments in their lives on the walls throughout the house or in a photo album. Be sure to include ones that show both of you over the years up to the present. In this video, you’ll see just how effective it can be.
- In some instances, a scent can jog the memory. If they loved a perfume or aftershave you used – resume wearing it around them. If they associate the smell of freshly baked cookies with you, then get into baking mode on some days.
It’s amazing what a little trip down memory lane can do! When you talk about memories that you both share, it can help your loved one feel connected to you. It can also help trigger their memories and help them feel more like themselves. Watch this video to see what we mean.
How NursePartners Can Help
Coping with the heartache of a loved one no longer recognizing you can be challenging, but it is possible. Having a team like NursePartners by your side can make things much more manageable.
For 20 years NursePartners has been supporting families by providing compassionate and experienced home care to their aging loved ones, including those who live with dementia. Our team comprises the best Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who serve in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware Counties.
We also use The GEMS™: Brain Change Model designed by world-renowned occupational therapist Teepa Snow to help you to connect and care for your loved ones at every stage of dementia. In 2022 we became the first agency in Pennsylvania and the 13th worldwide to be accredited by Dr. Snow’s Positive Approach to Care® (PAC).Contact us today by calling 610.323.9800 for a free consultation.