My oldest brother no longer knows my name. He knows that he knows me, but my name has escaped
through some cracked window in his mind... Our Mom used to say that she had twins eight years apart.
I followed him into the radio business and he was my role model and mentor for the bulk of my career.
He now lives in a locked down assisted living facility where he can get the care he needs. Marianne and
I went to visit him today with his wife and daughter. He's in good spirits and tries to join in the conversation.
He engages in confabulation, which is talking just to talk. A lot of what he says makes no sense.
There is a tendency to try to quiz someone with dementia. To try to light a spark of recognition or
recollection... Don't. It only adds to their stress and anxiety. Let their memories come when they can.
And they will. Savor these moments.
Some people think that caring for a loved one with dementia is like caring for a child. It isn't.
Typically, with a child, you'll see progession....An increase in their skills and vocabulary. With a
dementia patient, you'll see regression...a decrease in EVERYTHING.
It is exceedingly cruel.
It is relentless.
It is a very slow goodbye.
So what do you do?
Just. Love. Them.