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Visiting in Alzheimer’s Care When Recognition Is Gone

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 23 August 2012

A move to Alzheimer’s care can be extremely devastating for caregivers and others in the family circle. The guilt over the transition may be crippling, overwhelming. Seeing the person you love in a place other than her home is a tough thing. Watching him decline and having no power to stop it is agonizing, and when your parent, relative, friend, spouse or partner doesn’t seem to recognize you anymore, the emotional strain may be too much to bear.

It’s no wonder that people find visiting in Alzheimer’s care a difficult task.

Have you thought of it from the other side though?

Imagine losing yourself, your memory, one piece or hundreds of pieces at a time, day after day. You don’t recognize anyone; you’re surrounded by strangers. You get lost whenever you leave your room. You can’t say the words you want to say because you don’t remember them. You see a fork on the table and can’t remember what it’s for or how to use it. Everything changes all the time.

Once in a while, a familiar face appears through the fog. You can’t recall his name, but you know his voice, his face, his presence. You wish you could say or do something, anything, to make him stay longer, but he clearly feels nervous, sad, uncomfortable, and anxious to leave.

It’s not easy to visit someone in Alzheimer’s care, but you should do it anyway. Check out our visiting tips here.


There is One Comment about this post

  1. [...] earth, thinking she needs time to settle in, or that he’ll be too busy to miss you. If she has dementia or Alzheimer’s, which has led to a lack of recognition, that’s not a reason to stop visiting; she’ll welcome [...]


    on 30 August 2012 / 9:28 AM


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