It can be difficult when a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders forgets who you are, doesn’t remember your name, or doesn’t seem to recognize you. This decline can be hard to watch when it’s negatively impacting your relationship with your loved one. It’s not uncommon in the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s disease for people to lose the ability to remember and recognize others. We’ve outlined uplifting and beneficial things to do to help.
Why Does It Happen?
Here are a few possibilities why your loved ones might forget you:
- Memory Loss- Because Alzheimer’s damages the brain, memory declines. Changes in the brain are the most common reason why your loved one doesn’t seem to recognize you.
- Paranoia & Delusions- A psychological change can occur in dementia and paranoia or delusions may develop.
- Vision Loss- Sometimes, your loved one with a memory disorder can have declining vision and it goes unnoticed. It’s possible that your loved one can’t see you clearly anymore to recognize you. Although it may be difficult, your loved one should go for regular eye examinations.
Tips To Cope When Your Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Forgets You
- Acknowledge The Loss- It is okay and necessary to allow yourself to grieve this decline in your loved one’s memory.
- Remind Your Loved One- If your loved ones find it hard to recall your name or who you are, help them. For example, you could say: “We have not seen each other in a while. I’m your sister, Tina.”
- Respond Mildly- When your loved ones find it hard to remember you, lessen their anxiety or worry. Don’t show you are upset, try changing the subject or suggesting something to do together.
- Don’t Blame Yourself or Others- When your loved one remembers the name of someone close to you and not your name, don’t take it personally. Be reminded that the disease is to blame for the decline.
- Spend Time With Them- While your loved one can forget your name, they can’t forget your love. Therefore, when you spend time with them, help them experience happy emotions.
A man once said to his dad who was deeply sad because he knew he would eventually lose his memory and at some point forget his son’s name: “You will never forget the love, and I won’t either. And we will always share that love!”
If Alzheimer’s or another memory disorder has caused your loved one to forget you, try to spend as much time with them as possible. It can be beneficial and uplifting! Positive feelings after visiting your loved one with memory loss can stay long-lasting!