The Deviousness of Dementia
This piece reminds me so much of our life with my mother during her last twenty years with us. We watched helplessly as dementia took its inevitable gradual toll; bringing fond memories of exchanges of loving smiles amidst fragmented conversations, historical memory juxtaposed as current events, and the daily intensive caregiving in the last three years.
As a psychologist, Dasha Kiper adds a new dimension to her compelling experiences living with Mr Schecter for over a year. She summarizes “When someone loses an arm or a leg, we know exactly what’s missing; but with the loss of memory, something greater than memory is at stake. Memory isn’t just about remembering, and memory loss isn’t just about forgetting. Memory is responsible for creating continuity, meaning, and coherence both for ourselves and for those around us. Its integration into every function of life, from speaking and learning to the forming of relationships, actually makes its loss all the more difficult to comprehend, since the visible repercussions – repetition, confusion, anxiety, and mood swings – distract us from the deeper, more intangible privation.”
This is a long read, but extremely relevant and enlightening.
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