Watching a spouse's memory begin to fade is painful as beautiful memories ebb away from their conscious mind, perhaps never to be seen again. Loving conversations and witty exchanges are soon to become things of the past. The mourning process for an aging loved one begins with the loss of memory that usually takes place gradually. However, there are ways to bridge the growing gap to those memories to preserve them as long as possible.
It's important to smile around a loved one who is experiencing memory loss. The smile of someone we deeply care for is something we almost never forget. Frequent smiles brighten any room and make everyone feel better. They may awaken slumbering memories in a spouse's soul, too.
Hugs and hand-holding are two obvious ways to show affection and help to recall lost memories. A person's touch is individualized and distinct, and is likely to bring back happy moments from the past in the recipient. A fun dance step can reawaken fun times, too. When communicating, even bending over to look the loved one in the eye may rekindle former thoughts and emotions.
People who seem to be losing their memories may actually just have a hard time communicating about them. Visual reminders like photographs, trophies, and children's drawings gently prod the mind to bring back special moments from the past. For example, when the loved one suffering memory loss doesn't seem to remember you clearly, point to a framed photograph kept nearby of the two of you hugging, smiling, or dancing, and there's an increased chance it will stir those loving memories.
Key words and phrases.
Many couples have pet names for each other and use selected buzz words or key phrases that others around them might not understand. Continue using those words and phrases often, as they are easier to grasp than abstract ideas or feelings. You might print them in a keepsake book with photos to be kept on hand as needed.
Memory may not last forever, but brief reminders prolong the joy of both spouses.