Dearie’s Takeaway: I need to get over the discomfort of being with someone who may not remember me and just be there for her comfort.  I need to learn to live with the sadness of missing my friend as I knew her, but not let the sadness overwhelm me.  I will try to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and not be fearful and try to learn to accept the changes in myself and others.


Barbara’s Take away: Ask the family and staff about a good time to visit. Oftentimes there are activities that friends and families are invited to join.  This is a good way to get accustomed to being in a different atmosphere and can learn about effective non-verbal communication.  Honor your friendship and find the heart of the person you knew – her warmth and her smile.  Not everyone who has dementia is incapable of interaction, but it does take effort.  Try to learn about memory loss and what are appropriate activities and needs at the various stages. The Alzheimer’s Association is a wonderful resource.  Family and friends are encouraged to join an Association sponsored support group.  To find your local chapter go to www.alz.org or call their 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900