Failure to recognise people

Failure to recognise people

During the disease, a person with dementia may eventually lose the ability to recognise things, places or people. This can be because of memory loss, confusion or poor eyesight, but it could also be due to “agnosia”. Agnosia is when the brain no longer is able to remember things or put information together. The person might not recognise family, their own reflection in a mirror, places or how objects work. This can be upsetting for the person, but also very distressing for you as a caregiver.

Try to provide assistance.

Demonstrate or explain how objects work. Try to remind the person about places or people by pointing out different features or characteristics.

Don’t draw unnecessary attention to the mistake.

It will be frustrating for the person with dementia if you only focus on the mistakes.

Try to find a tactful way to remind or explain.

It will help the person maintain some sense of the environment and people around without getting to frustrated.

Use photos or other objects as reminders.

This might help the person remember persons, relationships and places.

Stay calm.

It’s difficult if you loved one does not recognise people or places but try to remember this is because of the disease. Showing that you are hurt might just upset the person further.

Welcome to the Alzheimer Europe website. We are a non-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO) aiming to provide a voice to people with dementia and their carers, make dementia a European priority, promote a rights-based approach to dementia, support dementia research and strengthen the European d…

Alzheimer’s Society
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Alzheimer Society of Canada

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The DemiCare project has been funded by the Active and Assisted Living programme. AAL is a European programme funding innovation that keeps people connected, healthy, active and happy into their old age.

AAL supports the development of products and services that make a real difference to people’s lives - for those facing some of the challenges of ageing and for those who care for older people if they need help.

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