by Michelle Ferrara
Knowing that the day is coming when your loved one — won’t know you– is the most horrific feeling of them all for an Alzheimer’s caregiver. Have you heard the term “living Alzheimer’s from the front row”. This term describes caregivers that watch Alzheimer’s take its course 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can convey a powerful message with a smile. And, you don’t need to say a single word to get the message across.
The smile can have a cumulative positive effect if you give of it generously and often. I’ll start with a simple question, how many times each day do you consciously, and actively, try and elicit a smile from the person you know that is deeply forgetful? How many times, How often? A good way to get a smile, is to sit at eye level with the person, hold one or both hands. Don’t say a word, smile. Be patient, see what happens. Do it often and see if the entire dynamic of behavior changes over time. Keep smiling, keep touching, and don’t say a word.