My mom stopped recognizing my dad today. He is sad and distressed. How can I help him? - AgingCare.com

My mom stopped recognizing my dad today. He is sad and distressed. How can I help him?

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Eyerishlass, very sensitive and poignant advice.

JayDaughter, you might want to think in terms of worst case scenarios, and plan for how your father can react and help both himself and her as her memory fades. Assuming that this continues, what activities can you, your father and mother do to still maintain a loving relationship?

Can you go for drives, especially now that it's Spring, go to places where memory isn't an issue (such as museums, botanical gardens, or other places where one just absorbs what's there "in the moment", can react immediately and doesn't need to remember what he/she saw? Or just out to lunch or dinner?
I was thinking of how relaxing zoos are, or small areas with petting zoos, or garden shops, or nature refuges.

Are both your parents mobile? If not, what can you do at home to keep them both occupied and interacting, but doesn't require remembering?
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She stopped recognizing your dad today but she may recognize him tomorrow. Or in 3 days. Or never. That must hurt your dad very much. The goal isn't so much to get your mom to remember him as it is to comfort your dad. Maybe he'd like looking at old family photos? He's grieving the loss of your mother to a horrible disease and when people grieve they sometimes like looking at old photos.

You can help him by giving him your support. Talking about how you feel about your mom's illness may encourage your dad to talk about how he's feeling although men of his generation aren't really good at talking about their feelings. Still, open that door for him.

If your dad isn't much of a talker, placing your hand over his for a few seconds, gently patting him on the back, and hugs also say, "I understand".
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