While your loved one’s memory may not be intact, yours is. Providers of home care for seniors suggest approaching your loved one with Alzheimer’s with patience. Although you recognize your parent and are happy to see them, they may not recognize you. Cautiously approach them as you acknowledge them by name. Expect that they will be confused or resist your approach and may feel threatened. Remember, this disease has taken away their memory and as sad as it is for you, it is more frightening for them.
Providers of home care for seniors remind you it is no longer like it was. You cannot walk into a room and have your parent hug and kiss you. As stated above it is more likely they will not recognize you and may turn to their care provider for protection. In fact, they may ask, “Who are you? Do I know you?”
What you can do is enter the room slowly and wait for your parent to recognize you or be aware of your presence in the room. The best way to connect with your mom or dad is through eye contact. This is an excellent communication tool that will help break the silence. No matter how unsteady you may feel, keep smiling; a smile warms the heart and welcomes your loved one into your space.
If needed, use your parent’s name and introduce yourself. “Hi Ida, my name is Sally, I’m your daughter.” Wait for a response.
If you receive no response, try again. “Ida, do you remember me? I’m Sally, your daughter.” Be sure you reword the question using your mom’s name, your name and the reference to get her reaction.
If words don’t work, you may try music or singing a favorite song that mom liked, perhaps a song she sang to you when you were young. Music often unlocks memories and eases the brain. Providers of home care for seniors suggest a one step at a time approach will provide the links both you and your loved one are seeking.