What Moments of Clarity Mean For Dementia Patients & Caregivers
Dear Candid Caregiver (Carol): My grandma has had mixed dementia, probably a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular, for many years. She’s generally sweet and compliant, just wanting to stay comfortable in a world that she seems to have created for herself. The whole family tries to encourage her to tell stories, which she will sometimes do if she’s feeling up to it, but mostly she listens to the old-time music that we play for her or she naps. Grandma hasn’t recognized anyone in the family for a couple of years, but last week my mom and I had a shock. We were both helping Grandma get dressed after a sponge bath when she looked at Mom and called her by name. She asked how my dad — using his name — was. Then she looked at me, and using my name, told me that I’d grown up so nicely. While Mom and I were recovering enough to engage Grandma in some happy conversation, she slipped back into her personal reverie. That was it. We’re still shaking our heads. How common is this? — Stunned Granddaughter
Dear Stunned: First, let me congratulate you on being such a fine granddaughter. Your compassion would be laudable at any age but from your note, I’m assuming that you are still quite young. Your grandmother was right. You’ve grown up beautifully. To address your question, while…
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