For Older Adults a Fall Can Increase Their Chance of Serious Decline and Death
How Can We Minimize Grief for a Surviving Spouse Living with Dementia?

People Living with Advanced Alzheimer's Are Still Aware of Their Surroundings

OldMan+alberto-barbarisi-sO3WT9XJOhE-unsplash (1)Photo credit Alberto Barbarisi

Note to subscribers: There was a glitch in the newspaper link in yesterday's post so here is a refreshed link for the column on falls and decline: 

Today's post on awareness below:

...Even among medical experts, you will find differing opinions on how much someone with advanced dementia of any type understands. Alzheimer's disease (AD) in particular can render a person mute and uncommunicative, especially during the final stages of the disease. This situation commonly leaves family members wondering how much their loved one is aware of and whether their efforts are providing any comfort. Loving family members, and others who care for and about people with dementia, would like an answer to their question about how much a person understands. Personally, my non-medical viewpoint is that it varies. As a caregiver, my experiences with many types of dementia suggest to me that people likely do understand their surroundings on some level, even if it may only be picking up on their caregiver's body language or mood. Also, some individuals have inexplicable moments of clarity where they will seemingly come out of their walled-off state and momentarily return to a state that is similar to their pre-dementia personality. 

Moments of Clarity: I was recently chatting with a group of students from a university class that uses my book as a text, and a young woman shared a story about her grandmother that started an interesting discussion. The young woman was in her twenties and her name was Anna. Although she had never

Continue reading on Agingcare for more thoughts on how people living with dementia are often still aware of their surroundings (even if they don't respond).

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

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