Alzheimer

Throw ’em Out – Can’t Remember Who They Are!

Throw ’em Out – Can’t Remember Who They Are!

A recent article I read from “Dear Abby”, I want to share with you. I will paraphrase it as read.

A caregiver had gone to live with her mom who was afflicted with dementia. One afternoon the caregiver went looking for the albums of photos from when she and her brothers were kids, family vacations, etc. After searching high and low and not finding them, the caregiver asked her mom what had happened to the albums.

Turns out, her mom had thrown them out because she didn’t remember any of the people in the pictures anymore! Imagine the devastated feelings of that caregiver – The caregiver couldn’t be angry with her mom, as it wasn’t her fault.

Reading about that experience with the photo albums caused me to remember an experience I had with a good music friend from several years ago.

My friend had been been a very fine pianist and teacher, and she had collected an amazing library of piano music for both her own enjoyment and also for her teaching. I had been stopping by often to check on her, sometimes taking her out if she were willing to go.

One afternoon as I arrived, the first thing I noticed upon entering her living room was the huge mound of music in stacks on the floor. I asked, “Dottie, what is all this? Are you giving away your music?” She replied, “I can’t play it anymore!”

As soon as I left her home, I called her son to ask him to be on the lookout for the music, not to let it go to the trash.

Hoping you haven’t experienced similar losses! If anything, let this be a wake-up call to sit down with your loved one if he or she is able and review the family pictures while memory is still intact, writing on the backs of the photos the dates or approximate dates and who was in them. Photos are a precious link to the past.

Suggestion: Set aside a few photos to have your loved one describe. You can use your phone to photograph a picture and record a brief story. Gradually, over time you may discover you are amassing a life story!


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