I’ve just been watching Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me for the second time. Among many striking moments in the film, there’s a section in which Glen Campbell is looking at family photographs and struggling to recognise himself.
Photographs are useful for connecting with someone living with dementia. I’ll often show Mum some photos when I visit. Typically, I start with a shot of her:
“Do you know who that is Mum?”
She laughs and I follow suit. Not recognising herself doesn’t seem to distress Mum. I show her a photo of me.
She looks at me as though I’m stupid.
“I know who that is. That’s you!”
How does she recognise me but not herself? Who knows?
If you haven’t seen I’ll Be Me, I thoroughly recommend it. Sad, poignant, funny, tragic. Or dementia, as we call it.