The Alzheimer’s Society has confirmed that people with dementia feel happy long after a visit or experience they may have forgotten. Visits from family and friends stimulate feeling of familiarity, happiness, comfort and security. Even as the condition progresses, people can still hold an ‘emotional memory’.
A recent survey found that 42% of the public think there is no point in keeping up contact once they are unable to recognise the faces of family and friends. Alzheimer’s advocates and researchers are calling on people to visit friends and relatives with dementia regularly and help them take part in activities they enjoy. The findings showed a need for people to spend more time with relatives with the condition in order to prevent loneliness. 64% of people with dementia felt isolated from friends and family following their diagnosis.
Jeremey Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “Spending time with loved ones and taking part in meaningful activities can have a powerful and positive impact, even if they don’t remember the event itself. We are urging people to get in touch with us and find out how we can help you stay connected.”
Here are 5 reasons to continue visiting your loved one with dementia, even after it may seem that they will not benefit from time together (Source: Alzheimers.net):
- They may recognise you even if they cannot express it.
- Even if they are unable to remember your relationship, they may remember how often you visit.
- They may enjoy visits even if they cannot remember your name or your relationship to them.
- Opportunities to socialise and visits can put your loved one in a better mood and help them relax.
- People with Alzheimer’s still have emotional memory, remembering how an event has made them feel after forgetting the details of the event.
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