Lovely Alzheimer’s video: ‘Do you know who I am?’

A moving video showing the moment an elderly parent who has Alzheimer’s remembering who her daughter is has been touching the hearts of millions of viewers.

Kelly Gunderson’s 87-year-old mother has had Alzheimer’s for some time, and, according to the footage, had seemed to have forgotten that Kelly was her daughter. At first she confuses her daughter with her own mother, then, beautifully, the fog lifts for a moment revealing a touching reunion.

Missing words

As a son whose own mother died of complications related to Alzheimer’s, I found the video difficult to watch. There were similarities in Kelly’s mom’s speech patterns which reminded me of the way my own mother went from being eloquent and articulate to being confused, struggling for words.
My mum didn’t forget my name, even at the end, although she did confuse one of my brothers with the other one; this loss hurt him deeply at the time.

A parenting dilemma

As parents, we face this difficult truth: all of us grow old. Not only will many of us face watching our own parents grow infirm- the older a person is, the more likely they are that they will suffer from some form of dementia- but we will also have our children watch us aging, too.

It’s something worth remembering if your parents are getting older. Although Alzheimer’s patients in the latter stage of the disease may become difficult to care for and may require full-time frail care, it’s good to spend time with them. While it’s uncertain what quality of memory remains once dementia has a grip, it’s not just about sharing memories but about sharing the present.

As difficult as it was for me to watch this video, the best part was when Kelly’s mom seemed to surprise even herself when she says “and didn’t I name you Kelly?”

That’s a lovely moment for an older parent to recall- the special memory of naming a child.

Watch “God’s Gift” via Kelly Gunderson/YouTube:

Have you ever had to care for an elderly parent or grandparent? What did you learn from the experience?
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