Many caregivers can tell you about a loved one with dementia who suddenly has lucid moments. They “suddenly” know their surroundings and are able to express and communicate in ways they used to. At any stage, although more rare as the disease progresses, no one seems to be sure why some people with dementia suddenly “snap back” to their old selves for brief periods of time, which can last from a few moments to a day.
We as a family remember asking each other, “Is this Mom or the Alzheimer’s speaking”? There were times when we were not so sure! There were occasions when our Mother would seem clear one moment/day and “foggy” the next; or CALM one minute and then explode with RAGE.By definition, lucid means “clearly expressed, easily understood”. As caregivers to a loved one with dementia, these flashes of the person prior to their diagnosis, these moments of humor, the sudden recollection of a family member/friend, or an appropriate remark about a life event or situation, can be a great joy. To others, these “lucid” moments can be confusing and even disturbing. Try to “stay in the moment” with these lucid moments. Treat your loved one with your usual respect, kindness, and love. Know these moments
are not “triggered” by your degree of devotion; they just “happen” as randomly as they end. ENJOY THEM!
Music has been demonstrated to trigger lucid moments. “Reminiscent therapy” can sometimes spark happy memories that feel like old times.
Do avoid quizzing the person and do not try to force the memories. Cherish these moments when they happen.