Despite last spring’s hotly contested FDA approval of the first new drug in 18 years, Alzheimer’s remains an intractable, progressive, and slowly devastating disease for which there is no magic bullet. For spouses, adult children, and other devoted caregivers, watching a loved one with Alzheimer’s struggle to remember and communicate is beyond frustrating and often heartbreaking. Yet, that doesn’t mean that someone with Alzheimer’s or any other forms of dementia is ever a “shell” or “gone.”
In Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease, Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., a medical ethicist and recipient of the Alzheimer's Association Distinguished Service Award, shifts the focus from finding a cure for Alzheimer’s to continuing to see, cherish, and connect with the whole person—their core personality, preferences, emotions, creativity, and capacity for joy—despite the limitations of dementia.
An advocate for “deeply forgetful people” since the 1990s, Post enables readers to notice the continuing self-identity that remains beneath the surface.