Reframing with Peanut M&Ms

reframeIt will do you no good to keep saying remember to someone with Alzheimer’s. It is one of the hardest things to stop doing but you most. Or you will drive yourself crazy.

One of the stories in Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine is about Mom’s love of Peanut M&Ms. She loved those colorful chocolate covered peanuts for as long as I can remember. She always had some in a big bowl in the kitchen and there was always an emergency supply in her purse.

Once she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, one of the things we had to learn to do was not correct Mom, not say remember, and learn to reframe things for ourselves. For our own sanity.

Case in point, page 14 in the book:

September 25, 2013

Mom has always had a big bowl of Peanut M&M’s on a counter or table for as long as I can remember. And she often carried emergency supplies in her purse:
Me: I got you a surprise!
Mom: What is it? (Toddler like anticipation)
Me: The little Halloween packages of Peanut M&M’s!
Mom: What’s a peanut M&M?
Me: Here try these.
Mom: Oooh these are so good! Can I have more?
Instead of being sad, we look at it this way — we got to see Mom’s joy in eating her first Peanut M&M. Again.

Thanks to everyone bringing and sending me bags of Peanut M&Ms – each one is a nice little Mom reminder and smile. – Dayna



Dayna Steele is the CEO and creator of She is also the Chief Caring Expert for, the leading online destination for family caregivers seeking information, support, in-home care and senior living options for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones. Read her book, Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine – available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.