A viral video captures the heartwarming moment a deaf woman with dementia recognizes her daughter.
MJ Grant from Sanford, Maine shared the video, which shows her and her mother Carmen, 76, chatting with sign language in MJ’s car.
While MJ was having a simple conversation with her mother, she realized that Carmen didn’t know who she was — so MJ decided to try to help her mother re-jog her memory.
Special moment: MJ Grant (left) shared a video that showed the moment her 76-year-old deaf mother Carmen (left), who suffers with dementia, recognized that she was her daughter
Realization: In the video, the pair use sign language to have a simple conversation, during which MJ gives her mother hints that lead her to realize that she is her daughter
Understanding: Carmen, who appeared confused at first, seemed delighted to have remembered MJ, despite being shocked when she first realized
Adorable: When Carmen came to the conclusion that she was sitting with her own daughter, the pair leaned toward each other to share a hug
Mother-daughter love: MJ, who works as a self-employed sign language interpreter, uploaded the video, which has since gone viral, to Facebook on January, 27
The video was uploaded by MJ, a self-employed sign language interpreter, on January 27.
The caption reads: ‘Dementia can be beautiful. Yesterday I took my mother for a ride to the beach. Taking her out of her element (my home, where she lives) can be confusing for her.
‘Within the confusion there can be such beauty and sweet little surprises. I simply adore her,’ she added.
Possible early signs of dementia:
1. Lack of problem-solving skills
2. Confused speech
4. Difficulty completing once familiar tasks
5. Forgetfulness that interferes with daily life
6. Poor judgment
7. Misplacing items
8. Spatial and visual disorientation
9. Withdrawal from social or work activities
10. Sudden changes in mood and personality
Throughout the entire video, MJ and her mother communicate using sign language.
The video begins with MJ asking Carmen: ‘Where’s MJ?’ to which Carmen replies: ‘I saw her a long time ago, Christmas. I forget. Where, what city?’
Again, MJ says: ‘Where is MJ right now?’
Carmen then replies: ‘I have no idea. Maybe travelling.’
The 76-year-old then says: ‘Have you met her?’ to which MJ replies ‘Oh yes’.
Despite Carmen’s struggle to remember, the moment is calm and stress-free, as the mother and daughter relax in the car while looking out onto the beach.
Eager to try to jog her mother’s memory, MJ takes a different approach to try to get her mother to recognize her.
MJ tells her mother that she has deaf parents and, shocked to hear it, Carmen says: ‘I didn’t know that.’
Carmen then reveals that she wants to meet MJ’s parents, not realizing just yet that she is, in fact, MJ’s mother.
The pair continue their conversation when MJ says: ‘I think you know her’. However, after thinking for a few moments, Carmen comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t know MJ’s mother.
A few moments pass before MJ says: ‘Manley is my father’. ‘Did I give birth to you?’ Carmen replies.
Shocked: In the video, Carmen expresses her shock when she realizes she is sitting beside her daughter, as she says: ‘I’m so surprised!’
Proud: MJ looks proud of her mother for recognizing her, as she places her hands on Carmen’s shoulders and says ‘you’re my mama’
Happy: The video concludes with the pair giving each other a hug, while looking into the camera to see their resemblance
MJ nods, and says ‘ye,s’ as Carmen brings her hands to her face in shock, before lunging in toward her daughter and hugging her.
The adorable moment continues as Carmen remembers she has another daughter called LouAnn.
Later in the video, Carmen asks MJ if she signs. MJ replies, saying: ‘You taught me sign [language].’
Diagnosis: Carmen was diagnosed with dementia about seven years ago, during which time she was taking care of her own mother who has Alzheimer’s
Concluding the video, MJ invites her mother to look into the camera in order to see the resemblance they share.
While looking into the camera, the pair put their arms around each other.
‘You’re my mama,’ MJ says, and the pair share another hug.
Since the video was posted, it has gone viral, gathering over 28,000 likes and shares.
The clip also received almost 5,000 comments, thousands of which were from people who thought the moment was beautiful.
One Facebook user commented on the video, saying: ‘MJ this truly touches all of our hearts. Thank you so much for sharing this.’
Another user added: ‘This is so beautiful. Your mama is so gentle and kind, and you clearly take after her. Thanks for sharing this sweet moment with us!’
A third user wrote: ‘This is so sweet! Bless you for taking such good care of your mama. My mom had dementia and my sister was her caregiver for years. It’s a difficult job, but it is clear you are fantastic with her.
‘Happy you have these moments to hold onto and cherish. God bless you both!’ they added.
‘As a mother I can’t think of many things that would break my heart more than not recognizing my own child. The beautiful way you communicate with your mom is a testament to the amazing job she must have done as your parent and the beautiful bond y’all share,’ another added.
MJ told NBC’s affiliate WCSH-News Center Maine that her mother was diagnosed with dementia about seven years ago when Carmen was taking care of her own mother who had Alzheimer’s.
Home sweet home: Carmen tried living in a care facility for people with dementia, but it didn’t work out for various reasons including the fact that there was a lack of carers who could sign
Family: Carmen, pictured with MJ (left) and her other daughter Louann Grant (right) now lives with MJ and her family in their home in Sanford, Maine
Appreciative: MJ, who posted the video because she thought it might resonate with some people, said that she never expected the video to gather so much attention
Inspirational: MJ’s father Manley (left) is also deaf, meaning that MJ most likely had to learn sign language from a very young age
MJ said: ‘The sad part is that she worked for a number of years and retired to take care of her own mom and ended up with dementia before she even got to enjoy her retirement.’
Carmen lived in a facility for people with dementia for a short time, before leaving for a number of reasons, including a lack of workers who knew sign language.
The 76-year-old now lives with MJ and her family.
MJ told the publication that she decided to share the special moment online because she thought it might resonate with some others.
Family love: People on social media are praising MJ (pictured with her father) for having such patience with her mother
However, she didn’t expect for the video to go viral and reach so many millions of people.
She said: ‘I don’t think I stop in those moments and think how special it really is… But putting it out there and seeing peoples reactions, it’s like a recognition of how special and kind of momentous it is.
‘Across the country, across the world, there are people who are saying I am going through this with my parent too, and I don’t know what to do. There’s not enough out there for them, and there needs to be.
‘There’s no excuse, no reason why there shouldn’t be.’
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three elders dies with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and in 2017, these caregivers provided approximately 18.4 million hours of care valued at over $232 billion.
It is estimated that Alzheimer’s and dementia could cost the nation $1.1 trillion by 2050.
According to Alzheimers.net, some early signs of dementia can include poor judgement, confusion, difficulty completing tasks that were once familiar, and misplacing items.
Other early signs include confused speech, lack of problem-solving skills, and withdrawal from social or work activities.