Alzheimer`s Disease/dementia


mother is non-verbal with dysphagia and severe-late dementia.
Recently she is closing her eyes when you speak to her. After
say 2-3minutes she will open them but not appear to be connected
to you or the conversation or question. She just recently started
doing this behavior.

Hello Marilyn:  I'm sorry to hear of your mother's decline.  I'm sure it's very difficult for you and your family to witness.  
I'm not sure what your question is, but it seems that you're unclear about whether or not this is something that could be considered "normal" in dementia.  Since she is in the later stages, my guess would be that it's either that someone speaking to her is confusing because she cannot understand the words, so she shuts her eyes to reduce the confusion of all the stimuli coming into her damaged brain.  Or, possibly, she's attempting to concentrate on a few familiar words and in order to do that she must shut her eyes to focus her scattered thoughts on deciphering what the words are.  If she's in the later stages, it highly likely that she doesn't remember anything you've said once she again opens her eyes.  Since she cannot speak, she has no way to tell you she cannot understand what you're saying.
I would urge you to focus on her other senses when trying to communicate with her.  Touch, music (her favorite, familiar music), favorite scents, be sure to smile when she looks at you and make your touch very gentle and loving.  Give her things to hold or cuddle such as stuffed animals, a fleece covered hot water bottle, or even a babydoll if you feel it's something she would enjoy.  Feed her favorite foods and hopefully she can still remember that she likes the taste of them.  I wish you and your family well Marilyn as you continue to care for your dear mother though her dementia journey.  Cindy  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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