while he still knows who i am is beautiful and heart wrenching, but does it send the right message about love and connection?

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Kenny Chesney’s song While He Still Knows Who I Am is about love, connection and re-discovering a father-son relationship. It made me cry. It may make you cry as well.

But does it send the right message about people who live with dementia, and when and how family and friends should love and connect with them? I don’t think so.

The title and lyrics infer the son is going to visit his dad while the father still knows who the son is. But what happens when father no longer recognizes son? Will the son then not go to visit? That’s the implication.

I was so saddened by the inference that I wrote an open letter to Kenny Chesney asking him to write another song — one that encourages friends and family members to visit people with dementia especially when those people don’t recognize them anymore.

I wonder if he will.

20 great questions to ask when a loved one with dementia doesn’t recognize you anymore

Are you my mother?

it doesn’t matter if they know you or not

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Image copyright: dolphfyn / 123RF Stock Photo

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JM