When someone receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, they may fear that the memories they have built over a lifetime will fade without a way to pass them on to the next generation. If someone you love has Alzheimer’s, helping him or her to preserve his or her memories to be shared with his or her children and grandchildren is a wonderful way to show your support. As we celebrate World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st, have you considered taking this day to sit with your loved one and work together on making a scrapbook, printing out photos, and writing down thoughts he or she may want to share with future generations?
For those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, meaningful conversation may be hard to come by. They may spend much of their time trying to explain their disease to others or focused on making plans for when they become incapacitated. Of course, it can be critical to plan for future caregiving needs and engage in thoughtful and thorough estate planning when a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is received. It can also be important, however, to make time to just talk with your loved one and enjoy the time you have together.
Ask your loved one what would be meaningful to him or her in preserving his or her memories. Perhaps he or she would like to be captured on film, so that grandchildren or great-grandchildren who may not know or remember him or her, can see him or her and hear him or her talk about his or her life in his or her own voice. Your loved one may want to work on creating a family tree, preserving important details for posterity about generations past. He or she may find sorting through old photographs to be a meaningful project, naming and dating them so that there can be a story behind every picture.
Making memories can also happen in the here and now. In addition to preserving mementos of your loved one’s life, encouraging him or her to participate in family celebrations now and including him or her as time goes by, in whatever way he or she is able to attend, may help him or her to stay connected to family members and enjoy strong social support. When your loved one is no longer able to attend, you will have made new memories to be added to the photo books you spent time creating together.
For legal issues related to an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, our office is here to help. Get in touch with us today to schedule a meeting time.