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My dad's Alzheimer's is at the point where he doesn't know family members. How can I help him feel better about visits?

5 answers | Last updated: Feb 08, 2012
tlq93003 asked...

My dad does not recognize family members. My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I see him every day and he still seems to know that we are "related" and that I come everyday.

My sister and my niece are visiting from out of state. It has been seven months since he saw them. It breaks my heart that he does not know who they are. Is there anything I can say or do to help my dad feel ok about not knowing and to ease the pain for my sister and niece?

Thanks for your support!


82% helpful
Terrysmith700 answered...

My mother lives with me and has no idea that I am her youngest child. Some days I even show her my birth certificate and it means nothing to her. See also:
My dad has Alzheimer's and is shouting all the time. How can I get him to quiet down?

See all 1039 questions about Alzheimer's and Other Dementias
She will still ask me questions like "So...how long have you been her". That lets me know that I can not get through to her. I think you will not be able to comfort your family members any more than reminding them that you are there everyday and he really does not know you. You are only a safety net of familiarity. The same as the people that live together in assisted living...they don't know each other, but they know that they see each other everyday. My mother has been away from independent living for almost 4 years but will even still fuss and fight if you try to tell her that she does not still live alone. The burden is on the loved ones that are of sound mind to keep a healthy mental balance about the illness. You can't fix this situation...that is what I have had to learn and accept about this illness.


More Answers
Jsmisek54 answered...

You Might try making a remeberance family photo album of the kids when they were younger and then add some picture as they grewn up that might help if u can get them to look at them. I wish you thebest of lucl


100% helpful
Terrysmith700 answered...

trust when I tell you that once they stop recognizing you..no tricks work. What is necessary to understand and to help other family and friends understand is this...

The ego is what feeds our need to be recognized. Trying to get the Alzheimers patient to remember us only serves to remind them that they have a problem which makes them defensive and angry. Never is that the goal. We just need to let go of that devilish ego and just visit and reply to their rambling conversation as if they are making sense. Being sure that they are being cared for


100% helpful
JosephKaiser answered...

All these people are crying because their dear alzheimer relative does not recognize them or she(he) does not recognize a family member. This is pure selfishness. Forget about that and just make happy your dear person every minute, because they are smart enough to appreciate you love.her (him). The rest who cares! Keep in mind that alzheimer people have a memory of about 15 to 30 seconds beyond that they forgot what you told them. In my case I told my wife do you want me to call your relatives and talk to them? She answer I don't know what to say. So I say what about if they write to you telling everything that is going on with their family. She said yes and I will read their letter, The only thing I know she will remember them as when they were young. The rest is history. So don't worry, and make happy her (him) every day and they will enjoy and they will see you care for them.