I know a man where we live that visits his wife, who has advanced Alzheimer's, every day. He talks to her and tells her of the news, family happenings and the things he has done that day, to keep her informed of the life she is missing. For three years, she has not talked, reacted to anything he said, his touch, kisses on the cheek, or even loud thunder and lightening! She has her eyes open, but responds to nothing!
A few weeks ago, he planned a Birthday Party for her. All of their children and grandchildren we in attendance. There was a custom made Birthday cake and the party room in Skilled Care was decorated for a BIG Birthday Celebration.
He and the nursing staff moved his Wife into a wheel chair. Before he pushed he into the decorated room for the surprise party, he told her; 'Happy Birthday Sweetheart!" When they entered the room, to the family shouting "Happy Birthday Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma" His wife, who has shown no voluntary movement or response to any stimuli for three years reached out for her husband's hand and squeezed it!!
My friend broke down and cried!
He told me later, "I never say anything in her presence that I do not want her to hear. I always knew she was still there!" That hand squeeze was worth everything to Him and Her!!
This is a good lesson in how to interact with those of us who have dementia. We are still here.