What to Do when a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Recognize You

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in Montgomery, What to Do when a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Doesn't Recognize You

The cognitive health of seniors with Alzheimer’s will decrease, even with the best possible care. As the disease progresses, seniors begin to forget familiar objects, places, and people, including their children and close family members. 

The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Montgomery Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

As a family caregiver, you can use the following tips to ease the situation when your senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t recognize you.

Use Validation & Distraction

Avoid correcting your parent and instead offer comfort, which could include giving him or her familiar objects, watching his or her favorite television shows, or encouraging him or her to take up previous hobbies again. Approach your loved one with love, and remember even if he or she doesn’t recognize who you are, he or she deserves your respect. Avoid lengthy explanations because they could confuse your parent even more and cause him or her to respond violently. Validate your loved one’s feelings and look for quick distractions that divert his or her focus away from you and onto things he or she enjoys.

Stay Positive

Offering positive, gentle responses is the best way to help someone with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t recognize you or other loved ones. By staying positive, you can prevent the situation from escalating and lower the risk of erratic behavior from your parent. If your loved one doesn’t remember your name or becomes upset and thinks you’re a stranger, speak in a calming manner and say your name and how you’re related. Although your parent may not recognize you, the positive, calm environment could prevent aggressiveness and allow him or her to continue with daily tasks, whether that’s eating, exercising, helping with chores, or taking on fun projects.

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Share Family Photos & Videos

Seeing photos could spark memories for your loved one and help him or her recognize who you are. Merely looking at your childhood pictures could help your parent relate the images to happier times and remember small things, such as your favorite books he or she read to you or the foods you loved to eat for dinner. Keep in mind the objective of showing your parent the photos is to spark positive memories. Your loved one may not recognize you in the pictures, but even if his or her mood increases and he or she relaxes, the activity is a success.

Create Strategies to Address the Issue

Never become agitated or disrespectful toward your loved one, even when he or she doesn’t recognize you. When you’re angry, your loved one could lash out verbally and physically, and it could lead to other issues, such as higher stress levels, heart problems, or hallucinations. An excellent way to address this issue is to remember your parent isn’t in control of his or her actions and the disease is taking a toll on his or her memory and other neurological functions. Instead of crying or becoming sad, think about the positive memories you two shared. This could bring you joy and make it easier to manage your loved one’s memory loss. It’s also a good idea to join a support group for family members who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. The group could give you a private place to vent while surrounded by people in similar situations. 

A professional caregiver with expertise in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a wonderful source of support for your whole family. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Montgomery at-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988.


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