Boppa with Aja & Sam
January 25, 2009 Boppa attended his grandson, Sam’s, wedding. It was a wonderful time, but if you asked Dad today if he remembers attending, he would say no. In fact, if you had asked him the day after he would have said no. So, as Joanne Koenig Coste suggests, in Learning To Speak Alzheimer’s, you can either change the subject or you can recount how much fun you had, who you got to see, and even what you ate.
I give Dad photos of the event and put them on his photo board, so that we can talk about the event. I try to include photos with him in them. The photo above, showing him shaking hands, is an example of what Coste suggests to do when the patient does not remember who you are, simply introduce yourself and carry on with the conversation. I have watched this happen many times with Dad. He just introduces himself, when he does not remember the person. The young man Dad is shaking hands with is Aja’s brother, Mike, and Dad had just met him that day.
Coste also suggests not helping the person remember, but I find this very hard to do, so I refer to the photo, and because Dad looks at his photos everyday, sometimes it gives him faces to connect with. I’m not saying this will work with every early stage Alzheimer’s patient, but it may help.