Do Not Give A Current Photo To Someone with Alzheimer's
Written by Holly Schmid, Owner of Best Alzheimer’s Products
This may sound like an obvious statement to many of you. But sometimes being a first time caregiver is so overwhelming you forget about details like this. Or maybe, it's just never crossed your mind.
I was caregiver to Bernice, the inspiration behind our company. After Bernice was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we were able to move her into an assisted living facility where she could be taken care of. Bernice spent a lot of time with Mary when she first moved to her care community, mostly planning how to escape. I was visiting Bernice at her assisted living facility one Christmas for family holiday dinner and thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of her and Mary with all the cute Christmas decorations.
After dinner, I brought Bernice and Mary back to their wing and had them stand in front of the Christmas tree to take a picture. I thought this was a good idea because when they looked at the photo they would see the tree and know that this was a picture taken at Christmas. So I framed a picture for each one of them and labeled it 'Bernice and Mary, Christmas 2007.' The next week I went over at lunchtime and presented the picture to each one of them.
Mary took one look at it and gasped "OH MY GOSH! Look at how old I look!" and Bernice said, "Well, look at me! I look as tired as I feel!"
Clearly, they didn’t remember that they were that old. It was not the reaction I was expecting. I thought they would look at it and be so thrilled to have a photo of the two of them together. It was not as good a gift as I thought! It was a pretty funny moment, but I hope others can learn from Bernice and Mary's shock when given a current photo of themselves.
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