Feb 5, 2015

Who Cares -- the Dotty's of the World Won't Remember Anyway

It really isn't about what Dotty isn't going to remember. It is about what Dotty is going to "feel".

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Who Cares --  the Dotty's of the World Won't Remember Anyway Alzhemer's Reading Room

For me, the article, Alzheimer's Caregivers Should Laugh and Tell Jokes to Patients, is really thought provoking.

It reminds me of the sometimes trite but often used saying -- glass half full, glass half empty.

Once again today I am remembering how I went from glass half empty to glass half full. Or maybe even My Cup Runneth Over.

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In the beginning, when my mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's, just about everything drove me crazy. It would take me a long time to tell you about those years, the list is long. Longer than I care to remember.

After reading Alzheimer's Caregivers Should Laugh and Tell Jokes to Patients and thinking about it for a while, I came to a simple conclusion. These words seem very hurtful to me -- why bother she won't remember anyway.

Ever feel that way? Ever heard someone say those words? Do you know someone that has that attitude?

I now fully enjoy Dotty's moments of happiness and look for them. I appreciate her little smiles. For two long years, Dotty didn't laugh or smile. For two long years.

For me, it isn't about what Dotty isn't going to remember, or can't remember; it is about what Dotty is going to "feel".

The study I referenced indicates that what is happening right now is going to determine if Dotty is going to be happy ten minutes from now, or an hour from now. Not what Dotty remembers, what Dotty feels.

Caregivers, family and friends need to learn it is not about what the Dotty's of the world are going to remember, it is about what you are going to do to make the Dotty's feel happy (or sad).

If you don't think the Dotty's of the world will remember guess again, they might not remember the way you and I do, instead they remember with their feelings. By the way they feel.

Ask yourself, your family, and friends, how are they making your Dotty feel?

Do they care? Does it matter? Are they willing to adjust to insure happiness. Is Alzheimer's about the caregiver, the family, the friends, or is it about the person living with Alzheimer's?

Here is a straightforward question, if you were living with Alzheimer's, how would you want to be treated?

My Dotty can't tell you what she had to eat today, or what year it is.

She is smiling right now. So I can assume she remembers something, somehow, some way. But, not in the way that we do.

Dotty still feels. Of this I am certain.

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 4,900 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room