Alzheimer's blog

A gift you can give to those with Alzheimer's

By Angela Lunde December 24, 2009

During the last conversation I had with my grandmother, I asked her how old she was. She replied, "Sixteen".

Accepting that my grandmother had Alzheimer's disease also meant that I accepted the symptoms that accompanied her disease. Her dementia placed her reality back to a time when she was a young woman. I asked her what she liked about being 16 and she replied, "Well, it's wonderful, I am going to my senior dance!"

Our conversation continued with excitement about the dress and shoes she had picked out, her date, and the music she expected they would dance to. I was fully present with my grandmother, living her reality in that moment.

Maybe the effortless capacity for persons with Alzheimer's to live with sheer contentment in the moment and in their reality is a silver lining within the disease. Maybe our capacity to provide unconditional reassurance by living and accepting their truth is the gift we give in return.

Yours in support.

Dec. 24, 2009