To quote the late Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Truer words were never spoken. In fact, a new study from the University of Iowa shows that caregivers have a profound influence on those who often cannot remember them or their actions―Alzheimer’s patients. According to the study, published in the September 2014 issue of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, when Alzheimer’s patients were shown clips of sad and happy movies, they sustained states of sadness or happiness despite not being able to remember the movies.
This indicates that, though patients with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to remember recent visits by loved ones or even being neglected by a caregiver, those actions have a lasting impact on how the patients feel. According to the study’s lead author, Edmarie Guzman-Velez, “This confirms that the emotional life of an Alzheimer’s patient is alive and well.”
Read more about this study in this article from Alzheimer’s Weekly.