People with Alzheimer’s maintain certain types of memory longer than you might expect, reports the Canadian news outlet The Huron Expositor. If you know someone who has Alzheimer’s, focusing on these types may help you connect.
“We need to think about smell, touch and taste to maintain communication with our loved ones,” [Dr. J.B. Orange] said, adding that while memory and language are the two first things to deteriorate with Alzheimer Disease, some preserved abilities include the use of procedural memories like playing the piano, singing and playing cards, early life memories between the ages of mid-teens to mid-20s, the ability to recite and read aloud and the ability to engage in social ritual. …
He pointed out that if an Alzheimer patient always loved to play cards, that ability will deteriorate slower than the ability to speak so friends and family members can capitalize on that ability to maintain the relationship.
The article is full of good tips. Have you tried playing cards, singing or tapping into any of the other types of memory he mentions when talking with someone who has Alzheimer’s? How did it work for you?
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in aging issues and senior care. She covers both for the Today Senior Living blog.