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Dementia and looking at photos?

(14 Posts)
Helenluvsrob Mon 02-Nov-15 00:43:11

Dad has vascular dementia ( and an Alzheimer's label though doesn't really fit the picture clinically).

Took some photos from the 80s and 90s in to the home and it was a dead loss! I was quite shocked. He just didn't really remember ( apart from ranting about his oldest friend who " just went off and married again after his missus died so bugger him" ) and says he didn't remember mum at all.

I suppose he can't compute things from different times. I'm me now, not a teenager/ early 20s as I was then. I hope the " can't remember your mum" is just an adaptation to life now, with him in a home and me visiting. I hope he hasn't really lost her completely from the corner of his memory.

Shan't do it again sad

ZaZathecat Thu 05-Nov-15 13:52:07

Sorry to hear that Helen. I also would like to show my dm old photos to jog her memory of family members and old friends, but her eyesight is so poor that it's a waste of time.
It's hard to think of things to pass the time instead of having the same repetitive conversation isn't it? Quiz shows on tv are sometimes helpful.

Tinfoiled Thu 05-Nov-15 14:00:26

Helen, could you try photographs from an earlier era? It may be that memories your dad has may stretch back further than the 80s or 90s?
Zaza- have you considered taking in some 'props' that might jog your Dm's memories - things she can hold and touch with different textures? Like helping her arrange some flowers in a vase if she enjoyed gardening and prompting some conversation around that (it's amazing what can sometimes come up in conversation when people are actually 'doing'!). Or maybe some music that might be personally meaningful to her?

ZaZathecat Thu 05-Nov-15 14:14:32

Yes music is good, I do that sometimes.

Ikeatears Thu 05-Nov-15 14:17:38

Zaza - could you maybe scan the photos and show them on a large TV would her eyesight be good enough for that?

ZaZathecat Thu 05-Nov-15 14:21:32

Have done that on my TV at home Ike and she still has awful trouble. She's stopped watching the soaps that she used to love as she can't tell one person from another (also probably has trouble following the plots now too) that's why she like's quiz shows I think.

CMOTDibbler Thu 05-Nov-15 14:28:28

My mum gets really distressed if you try and look at photos with her. Its possible she is having issues with visual processing (her eyes are fine) as she has repeatedly said she can't see properly. So it can be about more than memory being a problem when looking at things

hereiamagain22 Mon 21-Dec-15 18:52:46

We found very old photos best. From when Dad was a child/teenager/early 20s. Actually found out the answers to a couple of family skeletons that have always been hushed up as he happily spilled the beans, which was quite funny in a way!

Jenijena Mon 21-Dec-15 19:02:12

Limited experience with DH's GM, but old music was a trigger. Also VD. She was probably a year since coherent conversation, but Christmas carols on the radio and she started talking about a mothers Union trip she'd been on with church.

PlymouthMaid1 Mon 21-Dec-15 19:24:20

So sad. My Dad has advanced Parkinsons and can no longer speak in an understandable way. We can't show him old photos or even talk about the past as he gets so upset. I always put Pick of the Pops on the radio when I visit on Saturday as I like to think he finds the old tunes fun and comforting.

dementedma Sat 12-Mar-16 21:40:58

Dad gets very upset when he recognuses the people visiting him and photos or recollections make him cry. It's a reminder of what he has lost. It just doesn't work for him. I hate visiting him. He has pretty much forgotten how to read, he doesn't do the co!ouring in books, won't/can't integrate with the other residents to play cards or dominoes. So he sleeps, cries, and looks at the wall, wishing he was dead. So do I. It would be better than this

RedOnHerHedd Fri 29-Apr-16 19:03:23

I know this thread is a few months old but I just stumbled on it and my grandad is exactly the same. Didn't recognise any family members in old photos and got very upset because I (he) kept dropping the photos. I had to put them away after a few minutes. I thought it would be a nice idea, but sadly I was wrong.

Demented I know exactly how you feel, my grandad doesn't interact with anyone or anything. Gets agitated at the slightest thing. It's no life for him. He's just in limbo waiting for his body to give up. It's bloody cruel.

bigTillyMint Tue 03-May-16 15:02:00

Oh dementedma and RedOnHerHedd, it is so awful, isn't it? My DM keeps saying she just wants to die. It's no life.

Gutterflower Tue 03-May-16 15:06:54

OP my Gramp was a bit hit and miss with photos. He also had vascular dementia. One day i found a pile of drawings he had done when I was younger and I took them up to show him, it was like I had given him the best present: I will never forget the look on his face. He recognised them straight away and could remember everything about them. flowers

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