Last Updated: December 26, 2018
Caring and/or 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 parent or senior loved one in the advanced stages of the disease.
However, the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging family and friends to stay active in the lives of their loved ones with the disease, citing a strong emotional memory and long-lasting benefits from socializing. Learn more about how our senior loved ones benefit from our visits.
Visiting Our 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 the 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 senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s is important, even as the disease progresses. Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, Jeremy Hughes, states:
“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 Alzheimer’s were not participating in social activities and 64% said they felt isolated after receiving their diagnosis.
5 Ways That Senior Loved Ones Benefit From Our Visits
Research shows that even though a person with Alzheimer’s may no longer recognize a loved one, their time together has a lasting, positive impact.
Here are five reasons to continue visiting your parent or senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, even after the disease has progressed:
- Even if they are unable to remember your relationship, they may remember how often you visit.
- Opportunities to socialize 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.
- They may enjoy visits even if they cannot remember your name or your relationship with them.
- They may recognize you even if they can not express it.
When was the last time that you visited loved ones with Alzheimer’s? What are your visits like? We’d like to hear your stories in the comments below.