Join Home Instead Senior Care for a free Family Workshop about Alzheimer’s and other dementias Tuesday, Oct. 17.

She didn’t even know me!

Home Instead Senior Care offers free family workshop for those with a loved one living with dementia

Sierra was inconsolable. When she visited her mother at home, the frail elderly woman did not recognize her own daughter. Even though she understood that her mom suffered from dementia, the anguish of the incident brought the young woman to her knees, crying and sobbing. To her, there was nothing more heart-breaking than when the person with whom she shared the longest and most loving relationship in her life, did not even recognize her face after bending down to say, “I love you, Mom.”

It’s small comfort, and is certainly easier said than done, but families need to realize that their loved one is suffering from a serious degenerative brain disease and one of the primary symptoms is a failing memory. In other words, it is not personal when they don’t recognize a loved one.

Fortunately, there are proactive strategies to help Sierra and other families cope with these situations – and maybe even get some unexpected surprises along the way.

Create a “memory box” for the family member with different trinkets and personal items that may jog their memory – such as a pair of baby booties, a treasured book, an old apron, a favourite piece of jewellery, and old magazine. For a father, you could put in an old fishing rod, a favourite pair of cuff-links or an old shaving brush. These items may be the spark that jogs their memory, helping them remember special times in the past with family.

Photographs, videos and music help people relive their past, like seeing and hearing their story in a mental movie. When the loved one with dementia sees their son or daughter in person plus in a familiar photo, they may connect the dots. Having a colourful name tag and saying one’s name aloud as the photos are shown, could be a very helpful catalyst in recognizing their child. Seeing their face light up like a candle when they suddenly remember is a huge reward.

We know from research that it is possible to traverse the fog and connect with someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Sometimes it requires a little coaxing, a little faith, and maybe the occasional miracle. With love and patience, all things are possible!

Join Home Instead Senior Care next month for a free Family Workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. as Peggy Hancyk shares more ideas and strategies. Call 250-382-6565 to RSVP.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read