Having a parent living with dementia can be difficult. It is even more heartbreaking when they don’t recognize you, the person closest to them in life, ask you the same questions over and over again or have trouble doing simple tasks like dressing themselves. But there are ways that you can help make it easier for them to remember who you are and get through this tough time in their life without being too upset by it. The best thing you can do is learn how to cope with this loss of identity in your parent and what actions you can take to help the situation.
Know What To Expect
You first need to know that it’s not your fault. Dementia is a progressive disease that worsens over time, and it can be difficult to tell when someone has dementia. The signs of dementia may appear gradually or suddenly, depending on the type of dementia or the progression of your loved one’s condition. Even if you’ve been living with someone with dementia for years, you might see sudden changes in him or her. It’s also possible that they won’t recognize you anymore—but don’t take this personally!
Your parent may try to hide their symptoms from others and themselves; they may even deny that anything is wrong. Don’t let this fool you into thinking there isn’t anything wrong with them; if something seems off about how they’re acting, talk to them about it—even if they say everything is fine.
Try To Remember That They Have A Disease
It’s important to remember that your parent is not doing this on purpose. They have a disease that impairs their ability to recognize you and other people. It’s not personal and doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
This is especially important if your loved one has become violent or aggressive. Even though this behavior may be frightening, try to put yourself in their shoes: they are likely feeling confused and frustrated by their inability to communicate effectively with those around them.
Focus On The Positive
You’re not alone in this. Many families struggle with the same issue, and it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault that your parents don’t recognize you anymore. The good news is that even if they can’t recognize you or other people in their lives, they still have many of the same interests and personality traits before dementia sets in.
Many people find it helpful to focus on the positive things they do remember about their loved ones—like their sense of humor, love for music, or cooking skills—instead of dwelling on what has been lost over time due to dementia. This can help keep a positive attitude about life with dementia and keep loved ones from becoming too depressed about any losses that may occur over time.
Use Pictures And Other Cues To Help Them Remember You
One of the most effective ways to help your parent remember you is using visual cues. If they have a photo album or scrapbook, pull out photos from when you were younger. Show them these pictures and encourage them to talk about what’s happening in each one. If they don’t have any old photos lying around, try taking some new ones! Many caregivers use their smartphones for this purpose, and there are apps that can help parents share their memories with their loved ones.
The scent is another strong memory trigger, so keep a scented candle or hand lotion nearby when visiting with a loved one who has dementia, as this can also help trigger positive memories! In addition, we recommend singing along with the music; it’s amazing how often people will sing along, even if they don’t realize it!
Remember that the person you care about is still in there. No amount of dementia can change that, so take heart in the fact that, at some point, they will be able to recognize you again. Don’t let this disease get in the way of how much love you feel for someone—continue to show them affection and support until they are back to normal!