Caring for and visiting with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease can be emotionally and physically draining. In a recent survey, over 40% of people reported thinking it was “pointless” to stay in contact with a loved one in advanced dementia.
However, the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging family and friends to stay active in the lives of their loved ones, citing a strong emotional memory and long lasting benefits from socializing with loved ones.
Visits with Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s
A recent survey found that 42% of the public think it’s pointless to stay in contact with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s after they are unable to recognize the faces of family and friends. Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers caution against this line of thinking, saying that even as the disease progresses, people with advanced dementia can still hold an emotional memory, meaning that they remember how something made them feel long after they have forgotten they event that brought those feelings.
After the celebration of the holidays and more time spent with family, people with Alzheimer’s can feel especially lonely in the beginning months of the new year. However, spending time with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s is important, even as the disease progresses. Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society Jeremy Hughes stated:
“After spending time with friends and family over the festive period, New Year can be a bleak and lonely time for people with dementia and their carers. It’s so important for people with dementia to feel connected throughout the year. Spending time with loved ones and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don’t remember the event itself. We’re urging people to get in touch with us and find out how we can help you stay connected.”
Another survey found that more than 50% of people with dementia were not participating in social activities and 64% said they felt isolated after receiving their diagnosis.
5 Ways Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Benefit
Research shows that even though a person with dementia may no longer recognize a loved one, their time together has a lasting, positive impact. Here are 5 reasons to continue visiting your loved one with dementia, even after it seems their dementia is too advanced to benefit from time together.
- They may recognize you even if they can not express it.
- Even if they are unable to remember your relationship, they may remember how often you visit.
- They may enjoy visits even if they can not remember your name or your relationship to them.
- Opportunities to socialize and visits can put your loved one in a better mood and help them relax.
- People with Alzheimer’s still have emotional memory, remembering how an event has made them feel after forgetting the details of the event.
When was the last time that you visited loved ones with Alzheimer’s? Do you have any other benefits to share from your visits? Tell us in the comments below.
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