Feasts of Remembrance

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • As a loved one moves further down the dark mental path caused by Alzheimer’s, family members and friends often find themselves challenged in determining how to show their love for the person in a meaningful way. What previously might have made the loved one happy – jewelry, gadgets, and other goodies – no longer are appropriate. So how can we show our love?

    During a recent visit over breakfast, my friend, Chris, shared one way that she is bringing meaning to her mother’s life. Chris’s mom, Bernice, lives in a nursing home in Minnesota and suffers from dementia. The present time no longer holds any meaning for Bernice; instead, she continually lives life in the past based on her memories.
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    Recently Bernice started talking about one particular memory: a meal of virtinais, which is a Lithuanian dish similar to ravioli that she had enjoyed as a girl (and made for her family). Chris is planning to travel to Iowa soon to see her mother and family, and she plans to take the recipe for virtinais with her. After a family meal featuring this dish, Chris and her brother plan to take a plate of these stuffed noodles to the nursing home so Bernice can enjoy the meal that she remembers and craves.

    Sometimes you have to be creative in finding ways to show your love. A plate of food that holds some significance to the loved one’s earlier days is one way to easily provide emotional sustenance (as well as physical enjoyment) to the person who suffers from dementia.
Published On: August 24, 2006