If you have a family member battling Alzheimer’s disease, then you know how devastating it can be. Those dealing with it lose their memory. And when their past starts to slip away, so does their grip on reality. If you don’t know where you came from and who you are supposed to be, it can be extremely difficult to hold onto your identity. And family members deal with the brunt of this symptom of the disease.
As the Alzheimer’s sufferer forgets their relationships and who the people around them are, it gets extremely painful. No one wants to see their loved one going through that. While many people with Alzheimer’s are older, the disease can strike people at any age.
With no current cure, family members need to be there with their loved one as they watch pieces of them disappear. The suffering is immense and hard to put into words. And for some people, few things can pull them out of the depths of the disease. But engaging the Alzheimer’s patient’s senses in different ways can trigger memories and parts of their personality that have otherwise disappeared. Odors and sounds can have a powerful effect in this way.
One young woman named Rachel was watching her 93-year-old grandfather slip away from her one memory at a time. She had known him as an engaged and lively man throughout her life. But when he was diagnosed with dementia, he changed. But that did not change how much she loved him. So she decided to do something that might break through his fog and connect with him.
One day while she was helping take care of her grandpa, she set up a camera and then started playing some music. She took this moment in between her tasks of making his meals and accompanying him for walks outside.
As soon as the music starts playing and Rachel extends her hand to him, his personality lights up. She helps him to his feet, and he is suddenly a much younger man.
Rachel did not have high hopes that her elderly grandfather would be able to bring back dance moves that he used when he was coming of age. While parts of his memory are failing him, he recalled all the steps of his favorite dances of his youth. He took his granddaughter in his arms and began to move along with the music to her. And this moment of love and connection touched her heart more than he could have imagined.
Throughout the short video, Rachel dances with her grandfather around the room. And she started having so much fun she even began laughing. Seeing her grandfather light up like this because of the music brought Rachel so much joy.
Because Alzheimer’s doesn’t have a cure, Rachel knows to savor these moments. His memory could continue to get worse. And this moment where she was able to break through the fog gave her a glimpse back into the man her grandfather really was.
What do you think about this touching moment?