These images show how a woman tried to cope with her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis

These images show how a woman tried to cope with her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis


Mom in Mexico City, a year before her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. She was already showing symptoms – misplacing items, withdrawing from social activities, mood swings and increased memory loss.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom in Mexico City, a year before her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. She was already showing symptoms – misplacing items, withdrawing from social activities, mood swings and increased memory loss.

Alice Vera

There is a term – ambiguous loss – which is used to illustrate the impossible-to-describe situation of the loss of a person who remains here physically but may not be present mentally or emotionally. When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, her diagnosis left me devastated, anxious and hopeless. How do I fight against my mother’s slow fading even as she remains here with us?

“Va a Llover Toda la Noche”, which translates to “It’s going to rain all night”, is my desperate attempt to cope with his prognosis. In this work, I bridge his past, the one I only know through his story (and which disappears more and more each day as his illness advances); our present, which is also deeply affected by it; and our future together, the contours of which change with each passing day. This project is my effort to create a dialogue about ambiguous loss, to process my own grief, and to reinterpret my relationship with my mother in a way that attempts to understand her illness.

Mom, child, poses for a portrait in Mexico City.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom, child, poses for a portrait in Mexico City.

Alice Vera


Mom and her orchids in Miami.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom and her orchids in Miami.

Alice Vera

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized primarily by memory loss and cognitive decline. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and Latinx people are 1.5 times more likely to develop the disease than non-Latinx white people. The National Institute of Health estimates that Latinx people with Alzheimer’s disease will increase ninefold by 2060, affecting 3.5 million people.

As my mother’s illness progressed, I started receiving text messages from my family who were concerned about her condition.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


As my mother’s illness progressed, I started receiving text messages from my family who were concerned about her condition.

Alice Vera


Glimpses of my mother’s youth in Mexico.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Glimpses of my mother’s youth in Mexico.

Alice Vera

In “Va a Llover Toda la Noche”, I weave together images from my mother’s existing archives, my personal archives and messages from my family to explore the present and the future that her illness robs us of. Using brain scans of Alzheimer’s patients as a starting point, I make interventions on these images that mimic my interpretation of what the disease does to my mother’s memories. This work addresses the difficult emotions of grieving a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease through the unique lens of our mother-daughter relationship with the aim of connecting my own struggles of loss and grief with the larger community of people affected.


Mom poses for a portrait at a party.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom poses for a portrait at a party.

Alice Vera


A text from my brother.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


A text from my brother.

Alice Vera


Mom poses for a portrait in Miami.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom poses for a portrait in Miami.

Alice Vera


Emails from my mother, dated 2009-2013. One of the first signs of dementia is the loss of cognitive function which can cause older people to struggle with the use of technology. These days, she has forgotten how to use a computer and her cell phone causes her anxiety.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Emails from my mother, dated 2009-2013. One of the first signs of dementia is the loss of cognitive function which can cause older people to struggle with the use of technology. These days, she has forgotten how to use a computer and her cell phone causes her anxiety.

Alice Vera


Mom, surrounded by flowers, poses for a portrait in Mexico.

Alice Vera


hide caption

toggle caption

Alice Vera


Mom, surrounded by flowers, poses for a portrait in Mexico.

Alice Vera

See more of Alicia Vera’s work on her website, AliciaVera.comand his Instagram profile, @aliciavera.


#images #show #woman #cope #mothers #Alzheimers #diagnosis

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.