Poems That Bring Awareness To Alzheimer's Disease

Published: November 2019

Poems About Alzheimer's Disease For Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It was first established by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. At that time, less than two million people suffered from the disease. It has now grown to over five million patients in the United States alone. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments that help slow down the progression of the disease.  

The Alzheimer’s Association has wonderful resources on their website about signs of Alzheimer’s, tips for living with the disease, help for caregivers, information on research and getting involved with support groups.

Whether you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or have a loved one fighting this disease, we hope these poems will remind you that you are not facing this alone. 

November is also National Family Caregivers Month. There are millions of people who care for their loved ones. These people selflessly make sacrifices to care for those with special needs, chronic illnesses, disabilities, and aging bodies and minds. This month is a time to honor family caregivers and give them the support they need.

Be sure to check out our other Aging Poems.

17 Poems About Alzheimer's Disease For Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

  1. 1. Changing Places

    I always felt that of the over 500 poems that I have written, this one was the most insightful as it was written when my older sister started through this pattern. Now, at 92, I am watching myself carefully and thanking God I am still OK. I'm also glad that I lived through the era when music was music and poetry was rhythm and rhyme. I am grateful for my file of special letters from people from all over the world who read my poetry and let me know they were amused, comforted, or inspired.

    in Aging Poems

    Poem About When A Loved One Has Alzheimer's

    I see the sadness in your eyes,
    The times that you are knowing
    What's happening to your wondrous mind,
    The symptoms you are showing.

    It was so hard to recognize
    When they started coming through.
    The little things that changed you
    From the person that I knew.

    The doctor's confirmation
    Was so hard to accept,
    To know that little could be done,
    That there's no cure as of yet.

    Forgive me, dear, if sometimes
    I give in to my frustrations.
    It's just so overwhelming,
    This change in our relations.

    Now I'm the one to be on guard,
    To keep you safe from harm,
    Protecting you the best I can
    And not showing my alarm.

    I hope you still can understand
    How much you mean to me.
    Though you curse me or forget me,
    I'll accept what has to be.

    For I will still remember
    The joys that we once shared.
    You showed me in so many ways
    How very much you cared.

    I pray to God to give me strength
    To do what must be done,
    To trust that in the future
    This battle will be won.

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    Memories! I was 53, he 54 when the complications of Alzheimer's took him. At his prime as an exporter, his secretary fell for him. I left and visited Canada for 3 months, but on my return,...

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  2. 2. Long Goodbyes

    I wrote this poem for my mother, who passed away on Valentine's Day 2010. Alzheimer's was part of our family for ten years, and I wanted my family to know that even though she had this horrible disease, it couldn't destroy her love for us or our love for her.

    in Aging Poems

    Inspirational Poem About Alzheimer's

    Nancy Reagan once said, "Alzheimer's is just another word for a long goodbye"
    Doctor's told us that Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that strips you of your dignity and pride.
    Nurses told us that some go back to their childhood and some act like they're five.
    And we have all said, "We love her so much," but she has changed; she's just not the same.

    You see, the doctors were wrong, you could never take away our mother's dignity or pride.
    Did she lose her dignity by asking us to bathe her, dress her, love and care for her?
    I say no, because she did all those things and more for us.

    The nurses were concerned about Mom going back to childhood.
    But if you could, how many of you would love to be five again?
    To remember that beautiful dress that Grandmother made just for you
    Or to remember that little house that you grew up in
    Or to maybe remember that special friend that you have missed for so long.
    So maybe being five again wasn't so bad after all.

    We have all said or at least thought, "She has changed; she's just not the same."
    But even with Alzheimer's, Mom's love never changed.
    Mom's love stayed the same.

    So, maybe Nancy Reagan was right.
    Alzheimer's is a long goodbye.
    But I thank God for this extra time.
    Time not to say goodbye but time to love and honor her, as she did us.

    So we say goodbye for now Mother, but only for a little while,
    For in Heaven there are no "long goodbyes."
    In Heaven there is only eternity.

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    Latest Shared Story

    My dear grandma, Doris, left us in January. She left an awful heartache in our hearts. She let an impression on me and all my family. She was a beautiful woman with a heart of gold. Friendly...

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  4. 3. Living With Dementia

    • By Emma L. Buckley
    • Published: October 27, 2021

    I wrote this poem to raise awareness of people suffering from dementia. I work as a caregiver, and until starting this job, I didn't understand much about dementia or how it affected people. I would like to share my newfound knowledge with others and ensure that everyone knows that it isn't just "being forgetful" or "being difficult" and that it is just as distressing for those suffering as it is for those around them.

    in Sickness Poems

    Dementia Awareness

    My mind is not what it once was:
    wilting like a rose.
    One thing you must remember:
    this is not the life I chose.

    Memories grow more distant
    each and every day.
    I never once considered
    that I'd end up this way.

    So please hold judgement.
    Let me be.
    Please be patient.
    I am still me.

    It takes a little longer now for me to understand
    but with your help, I will.
    My moods and symptoms vary,
    but I am human still.

    Dementia comes in many forms,
    we need to spread the word.
    Make everyone you know aware,
    as they may not have heard.

    I hope we find a cure one day,
    for I feel like I'm stuck.
    Researchers work very hard,
    I pray they have some luck.

    My mind is not what it once was:
    wilting like a rose.
    One thing you must remember:
    this is not the life I chose.

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    Latest Shared Story

    Sometimes you just NEED a break. My parents' assisted living center is short on staff, and I'm trying to be there more. Last night I fed them BOTH and then (with my horrible back with tumors...

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  5. 4. Dementia

    • By Debbie Bell
    • Published: December 21, 2020

    My beautiful mum passed away on the January 20, 2020. I looked after mum at home for 10 years and then mum was placed in a care facility where she was for 3 years.

    in Sickness Poems

    Dementia From The Parent’s Perspective

    Help me to remember
    What I forget each day.
    Don't let the dementia
    Take my memories away.
    Keep reminding me
    What we used to do,
    And always remember
    I'll always love you.
    You are my beautiful child,
    That will never change.
    Though the dementia
    Will make me act strange,
    It's not my fault, my love.
    It's the dementia that I have.
    It's what is does to you,
    So try not to be sad.
    Just hold my hand
    And try to reassure me.
    If I'm very confused
    Just change the story.
    At times I will be there.
    I'll remember little things,
    But then it will fade again
    And sadness it will bring.

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    Latest Shared Story

    My friends Dad has this. She would love this poem.

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  7. 5. Dearest Mother, I Will Always Love You

    This poem was written in memory of my mother who suffered from dementia in the winter of her life.

    Everyone who's lost their mother knows,
    it's a painful grief that never goes.
    The love will always remain the same
    in a forever eternal flame.

    in Dying Poems

    Mother Suffering From Dementia

    When dementia creeps in through the back door,
    Loving is needed, like never before...

    An expressionless face, an empty heart,
    A once dazzling life that had lost its spark.
    I saw your sad tears and felt every fear
    Of foggy days that for you never cleared.

    All disappeared, those happy golden years,
    Memories you held, so precious, so dear.
    The loveliest of smiles, gone without trace.
    Who was that stranger who dwelt in your place?

    Tenderness was missing, none existing.
    Care and affection you were resisting.
    It sure broke my heart to see you like that
    When we'd shared love and friendship in the past.

    My one and only forever mother,
    There couldn't have been a better another.
    I still pray in hope, again and again
    You didn't suffer any physical pain.

    As you loved and cared, like a mother should,
    I cared for you, as I promised I would.
    I hope that these words to heaven get through,
    "Dearest Mother, I will always love you."

    Mom
    1920 - 2008

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  8. 6. A Forgotten Life

    My mum has been suffering from dementia for 4 years and is now in a residential home. She is 84, and up until the age of 78, she was still working and driving. She doesn't remember her husband or myself and my 2 sisters. In fact, there is no recognition in her memory of the life she had before the dementia. It seems such a cruel disease to wipe out a person's life completely that it inspired me to write this poem. I am sure it will relate to a lot of people experiencing this "loss" of a loved one.

    in Sickness Poems

    Poem About A Loved One Suffering With Dementia

    She resides in a home, sits in a chair,
    Nothing to bother her, make her worry or care.
    Caretakers to help her wash and dress,
    Doing all that they can not to cause her distress.
    She smiles and accepts the care that they give,
    The meals and the medicines she depends on to live.

    Her mind should have memories both good and bad.
    Why can't she remember the life she once had?
    Not aware of the people who came to see her today
    Or what they told her, or how long the stay.

    Family and friends she no longer knows.
    Just a flicker of remembrance occasionally shows.
    The memories are gone, now just a blank, empty space,
    Remembering nothing she had before she came to this place.

    Is she sad and afraid? She can't let us know
    Because these are emotions she's unable to show.
    All that's changed is her mind. She is still there,
    The same person for whom I always will care.
    I'll always remember what she means to me
    Because she's my mum, who else could she be?

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    Latest Shared Story

    Hello. I can so relate to what you have said. and of course more than what you have said. My Dad got dementia when he was 83. He wouldn't accept that he needed help and I would take weeks...

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  9. 7. On Your Shoulders

    • By Magnus I. Rasmussen
    • Published: October 2018

    My father and I have always been close; when I was young, he would take me on drives to record stores and football games, anywhere and everywhere we'd go together. Recently he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, and slowly, day by day, he's losing what makes him my father. I wrote this poem as an ode to the memory of the man he once was, before it all. I read it to him from time to time, and he smiles and asks me who wrote it. I always say, "A girl who loves her father dearly."

    in Father Poems

    An Ode To A Father With Alzheimer's

    I remember the times
    You'd flip me onto your shoulder
    Freefalling skyward
    Taller, older

    I felt like a giant
    At that great height
    And felt no fear
    Just sheer delight

    Safe in your hands
    So sure and strong
    Now they're gone
    It feels all wrong

    No more do I fly
    And reach the stars
    No more do I soar
    That path of ours

    Up and beyond
    Your own great length
    Above your heart
    Upon your strength

    Where always you kept
    Me and us all
    Where you could watch us
    That we'd never fall

    And always you'd work
    Day after day
    To give us a life
    We'd love each day

    And though you'd grump
    And gripe and groan
    You'd flash a smile
    At coming home

    Where we would sit
    And eat home food
    Sing to songs
    That sang of blues

    Like stories you'd tell
    Of your young days
    And how the world
    Has changed its ways

    You'd reminisce
    Of your own dad
    The happy times
    That you two had

    I'd smile and think
    Of you and I
    And him and you
    And ache to cry

    For as I knew
    You'd lost your own
    I knew that you'd
    Leave me alone

    I could only hope
    And wish and pray
    That each day
    Would not be that day

    So each night that
    We'd sit and talk
    I'd try to capture
    Every thought

    And every smile
    Every laugh
    In my mind
    Like photographs

    Now I replay
    Your greatest hits
    From our hours together
    Our best bits

    These are the memories
    I now love
    In my heart as your picture
    In my glove

    And swear that until
    The day I go too
    I'll never forget
    And I'll always love you.

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    Latest Shared Story

    This poem so reminds me of the relationship my Daddy and I had. He had a major surgery in 1971 and because of that and the effects of the anesthesia, his decline began. It took a while for us...

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  10. 8. For Mum

    • By Hazel J. Lock
    • Published: August 25, 2021

    I lost my mother to Alzheimer's disease after 15 years of living and coping with the disease. The road was a long, hard one, with anxiety, heartaches, and sadness. Her death was heartbreaking but a relief in a way for her and for us. She had no idea who we were and lost all her memories. I wrote the poem for her funeral as it depicted exactly how I felt.

    in Mother Death Poems

    Losing A Mother To Alzheimer's Disease

    Your time has come to leave us, Mum.
    Dad called you back to him.
    The ballroom floor is ready
    For your dancing to begin.

    Although you left some time ago,
    As your memory slipped away,
    I hope you were remembering
    When you danced the nights away.

    You did so much throughout your life
    But so much you couldn't recall.
    I knew it was in there somewhere,
    but it was hard to find it all.

    You remembered lovely flowers
    And the songs you used to sing,
    Dancing to the operas,
    And the joy they used to bring.

    But it was hard for you to remember
    Just who I was to you,
    And you didn't know my name, Mum;
    That was hard to recall too.

    Once the fog has lifted,
    And it's clearer for you to see,
    I hope you will remember
    Just how much you meant to me.

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  11. 9. What Is Pain?

    • By Kathleen B. Hagen
    • Published: November 2008

    This poem is about Alzheimer's patients.

    in Aging Poems

    Alzheimer's Disease

    Pain is watching yourself fade into a helpless person.
    Pain is not being able to do what you did yesterday.
    Pain is not remembering what you did and why or where you bought things.
    Pain is not being able to see the flowers or the children on the other side of the room.
    Pain is not remembering your children's birthdays.
    Pain is not remembering your grandchildren's birthdays.
    Pain is knowing tomorrow will be worse.
    Pain is knowing it will never get better.
    Pain is waiting for the end of all the pain.
    Pain is not being able to do things on your own.
    Pain is not being able to walk as far as you want.
    Small pain is the pain you feel in your legs, back and arms.
    Relief is when you won't care anymore.
    I pray for my relief!
    To my family and friends, please think of this.
    At the time that this disease takes over, remember this please.
    My pain will be gone finally!

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    Latest Shared Story

    No story, just a big thank-you.
    Reading some of your stories made me cry. Lives touched, afraid of the future, of what might be. But together it won't be so hard.
    Thank-you

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  12. 10. She May Not Remember Tomorrow

    • By Kate E. Cartwright
    • Published: February 2006

    A granddaughter writes about her grandmother's experience with Alzheimer's Disease.

    in Aging Poems

    Poem About Grandmother With Alzheimer's

    Every morning
    He helps her get up,
    Get ready for a day
    That she may not remember tomorrow.

    Once a year,
    I walk in the door,
    Give her a hug
    That she may not remember tomorrow.

    She goes outside,
    Picks berries on the farm,
    Feels like a hard worker
    That she may not remember tomorrow.

    The neighbors come over,
    Trish and Tilly.
    Feels like Grandma
    That she may not remember tomorrow.

    She goes to Terry's
    For a home cooked dinner,
    Has laughs and entertainment
    That she may not remember tomorrow.

    Being against a harmful disease.
    I thank the Lord for
    All of the time that I have with her, knowing
    She may not remember me tomorrow

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  13. 11. The Greatest Loss

    This poem is about a man watching his wife fade away due to Alzheimer's Disease

    in Sickness Poems

    Watching A Wife Fade From Alzheimer's Disease

    When the time came again to visit her there,
    He'd feel that dark sense of despair.
    He could already picture her sweet, gentle face,
    Marred by that sad, empty stare.

    Sometimes he'd wonder just where she had gone.
    It was as if she was only a shell.
    Most of the time she'd forget who he was,
    Or she'd swear he was somebody else.

    It was torture for him to see her like this,
    Surrounded by other lost souls.
    She was gradually losing herself every day.
    There was nothing that she could control.

    Her good days grew less and her bad days grew worse.
    It was as if she had already died.
    There were days he'd be willing to tell her good-bye.
    She was existing, not living a life.

    But oh how he'd long to see her again.
    For a moment, to just catch a glimpse
    Of that wonderful woman, so special and dear,
    That dear wife he so desperately missed.

    The cruelty of life was undeniable,
    And the reality of death was a curse.
    But watching that person he adored fade away,
    For him, there had been nothing worse.

    He wanted so much just to hold her
    And together stroll down memory lane.
    But the life they once knew stopped existing for her,
    And she no longer could see him the same.

    He held on for years, ever loyal and true.
    She was still all that mattered in life.
    And despite how much farther she drifted away,
    His heart kept her always close by.

    When that last moment came, he was with her.
    He was there sitting right by her side,
    And his heart filled with joy as she looked up at him,
    And their love shined so bright in her eyes.

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    My fiance and the love of my life had passed from cancer one year ago. My heart is forever scared, but I must go on with my life and raise my four-year-old daughter.

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  14. 12. Last Embers Verse I

    • By BGW
    • Published: January 5, 2022

    This poem is about the pain of watching someone loved so very much just slowly fade away.

    in Sickness Poems

    Slowly Losing A Loved One

    The clarity of my mind has faded.
    Those vibrant thoughts, slowly washed away.
    Memories once so strong, are now so distant.
    Names of those I held so dear, escape me now.

    My life is confused, unclear, like the darkness of the night.
    The warmth of stories old, no longer take me back.
    A life remembered fondly by so many, is hidden to me now.
    Solemn times, so cherished and adored, no longer come to mind.

    People look at me so lovingly, but I know not who they are.
    Loving faces so unfamiliar, they no longer bring a smile.
    No sign of love is felt, nothing lights my eyes.
    How I wish I knew these people, and why I make them cry.

    You hold my hand, I feel no love, no sense of who you are.
    My thoughts so barren of recollection, so empty to my voice.
    A life bereft of meaning, emotion and desire.
    My life once so radiant, just the last few embers of the fire.

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    Latest Shared Story

    I and (I'm guessing many hundreds of thousands of) others know exactly what you mean first-hand.

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  15. 13. A Lost Memory

    This is a true story told to me by a friend about a time she visited her mother in a nursing home where her mother lived. She said it was the worst feeling in the world to have to live through. It was so heartbreaking that I couldn't forget it. At the time she told it, all I could do was cry.

    in Sickness Poems

    Poem About Caring For A Parent With Alzheimer's

    She lovingly handles
    her mother with care
    as she washes and curls
    and fixes her hair.

    They laugh and talk
    the hours away.
    Then out of the blue,
    her mother did say,

    "You're so nice.
    Now what is your name?"

    More On This Poem

  16. 14. Get Me Outta Here

    My dad has dementia. He had a fall and went to hospital, but it was too hard to bring him home. He was admitted in a dementia care home. He is not settled there, and he has become aggressive and disruptive and just too much for family to cope with anymore. It's so very sad. If he realised what he was doing, he would be mortified. Dementia is such a terrible disease. I hope this poem will give the reader some insight into the world of dementia suffered by the loved ones it affects.

    in Aging Poems

    Dementia Is An Evil Disease

    Locked in this place
    I want to go home
    Surrounded with people
    But I am all alone
    How did I get here?
    What have I done?

    Oh. Hello there stranger
    What is your name?
    Ah! I have a sister
    Her name's the same
    But I never see her these days
    Such a shame.

    Locked in this place
    Losing my mind
    Sentenced for life
    I committed no crime
    Brought nothing with me
    But everything's mine.

    Oh. Hello there stranger
    What is your name?
    Ah! I have a sister
    Her name's the same
    But I never see her these days
    Such a shame.

    Why are you angry?
    Is it something I said?
    I just asked a question
    That popped in my head
    But you're looking at me
    Like you wished I was dead.

    Oh. Hello there stranger
    What is your name?
    Ah! I have a sister
    Her name's the same
    But I never see her these days
    Such a shame.

    Who are these creatures
    Patrolling my day
    Are they prison wardens
    With nothing to say
    I just want a taxi
    And to be on my way.

    Oh, they brought your dinner
    Now eat up your food
    So I'll leave you to it
    Don't want to be rude
    You talk with your family
    I don't wish to intrude.

    Did you bring me some matches
    Did you get me a pen
    Do you have any paper
    I have a good plan
    Do you have a car?
    Who is that man?

    Get all these people
    Out of my face
    I didn't invite them
    This is MY place
    They're stealing my things
    It's a disgrace.

    Everything's mine
    I bought it you see
    Now let me out
    Where is the key?
    Or I'll bash out your brains
    So don't mess with me.

    Well, you can't tie me up
    That's illegal restraint
    So you turn now to drugs
    To dumb down my complaint
    Try to turn this old devil
    Into a saint

    So plied now with drugs
    You say that you hope
    This now will help me
    So you ply me with dope
    And try to subdue me
    With chemical rope.

    I know why you do it
    It is best for your purse
    It's cheaper this way
    Than employing a nurse
    But d'you know what you're doing?
    You're MAKING ME
    WORSE!!!!

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  17. 15. Dementia

    I am dealing with a sister who has been diagnosed with dementia. The whole experience has been scary and devastating to watch her mind deteriorate while there is so little I can do to but keep her company and help her days by doing things with her. We try to enjoy the days and we try not to dwell on what we know is inevitable. It seems I have grown closer than I was with her before, and maybe that is because I know what is yet to come.

    in Sickness Poems

    A Family Member With Dementia

    There are times when things seem normal again
    We laugh and talk about trivial things
    We enjoy each other's company
    But we can't deny the thought in our minds
    Unspoken words of what lingers behind
    Of knowing it will come sooner than we are ready for
    I don't know if I will be able to stand the sorrow
    Of losing you before your body goes
    And sometimes I sit and cry alone
    For it is hard to watch you slowly go....

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  18. 16. Last Embers Verse II

    • By BGW
    • Published: September 21, 2022

    Watching someone you love very much slowly drift away.

    in Sickness Poems

    When The End Of Life Is Near

    Each day you come and see me, I wonder who you are.
    You seem so happy to sit beside me and give away your time.
    As you tell me stories, I sit there in a dreamlike state of mind.
    I don't know if I knew you, so many memories have passed me by.

    You talk to me so much, but silence is all I can reply.
    As you hold my hand, I see the tears swell up in your eyes.
    You seem so happy to see me, yet still I make you cry.
    You sob such soft and gentle tears, but I cannot reason why.

    You talk of different places, but these four walls are all I see.
    These walls I sit and look at are all the comfort that I need.
    The walls provide safety; the life outdoors is not for me.
    My life is slow and simple, the world outside confuses me.

    Each day you're next to me, familiarity at my side.
    You offer me love and kindness, but I have no emotions left to give.
    Your face hides so much burden; I sense the end is near.
    You watch me slowly drift away, like the last embers on the fire.

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