In Their Eyes
By: Michelle Remold
I remember in about middle school when I started to learn about the importance of eye contact. For the longest time I would try to avoid having to make eye contact at all costs because I thought it was awkward. As with many things, as I got older I learned the value in being able to maintain eye contact with others. Eye contact has been especially helpful when I am interacting with those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Eyes can give away so much information. Many times I am able to tell someone may have a memory impairment before I am told about it, just by making eye contact. I often find that people with Alzheimer’s or dementia have ‘cloudy eyes’ and that even when they do appear to make eye contact they seem to be looking past me.
For me, eyes and eye contact are always important when communicating with others. Eyes can convey happiness, sadness, anger, or empathy. They can give us glimmers of those we lost to memory loss, if you just look for the glint in their eye. People’s eyes can tell us a story, you just need to take them time to make eye contact and listen to what they say.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.