What to Do When a Loved One With Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Recognize You

Remember: You’re Not Forgotten

The experience of standing in front of someone you love and them not knowing who you are is painful, but it’s important to remember that you’re not really forgotten.

Your loved one may not remember your name at times, and they may mistake you for someone else, but your presence can still be felt and appreciated. A gentle hand on the shoulder or a kind, reassuring voice is all it takes to make your presence known and important to your loved one.

Act How You Always Do

It’s hard to know what someone with Alzheimer’s can and can’t understand or remember. But that doesn’t mean they should be treated as less-than.

Continue to act like your normally would around your loved one, even if they don’t remember who you are. Whether it’s what you had for breakfast, or a fond memory from 5 years ago, talk to them about anything that comes to mind.

If they don’t understand or remember something you’re talking about, just reassure them that all is okay and then move on to something else.

Often it doesn’t matter what you talk about, your loved one is just happy to have someone around to talk to.

Provide a Photo Timeline

Just because your loved one doesn’t remember you or an important event from the past doesn’t mean the past is off limits. Bringing in and showing pictures in a chronological way may spark some memory in your loved one.

Often times people with Alzheimer’s revert back to a younger state of mind, which could be why they don’t remember you as you are now. Showing your loved one old pictures of you as a child may help them remember.

Better yet, showing a full timeline of yourself as you’ve aged over the years may help them realize that you’re still the person they see in the pictures.

Be Reassuring

One of the biggest worries among people with Alzheimer’s is that they cannot remember things, and that often leads to emotional upset and embarrassment.

If your loved one keeps asking you the same question, it’s not because they’ve forgotten they asked, but because they don’t remember your response. Instead of rehashing the same response over and over, just kindly assure them that everything is okay and move on to another topic.

Continue to Visit

Visiting your loved one and seeing them in such a bad state can be upsetting and even uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you should stop visiting. Not only will consistent and frequent visits keep your loved one happy, but they can also help your loved one remember who you are and form a concrete image of you.

When visits get hard to bare, just remember that your presence is probably the highlight of your loved one’s week.

Turn to The Inn at Belden Village

The Inn at Belden Village is designed to look and feel like home, and our professionally trained and specialized staff is familiar with all the phases of Alzheimer’s care, making our facility one of the most comfortable places for your loved one. You can rest easy at night knowing that your loved one is in our compassionate care, 24 hours a day.

Contact us to schedule a free lunch and tour of our newly updated facility!

Sources Include: CNN, Aging Care