Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website:

Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!

• • • • •


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.

Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.

With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.

Please follow me there by clicking or click the link located on the right side of this page.

Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Is the Glass Half Full?

Susan McCauly shares some perspective on how language affects how we deal with and see Alzheimer's.

She shares a wonderful look at Alzheimer's which begins to see the good parts of a person that continue as the disease progresses rather than listing the stages of loss and inability. I have found that in my readings, web searches, fellow bloger posts, etc., this change in focus is becoming stronger. What do you think?

"Amazing Susan" says: To help us understand dementia, experts have come up with ways of describing different phases of the disease:

1) The Alzheimer’s Scale (3 stages): mild, moderate, late.
2) Four-Stage Model (4 stages): early, middle, late, end-of-life.
3) Global deterioration (7 stages): no impairment, very mild decline, 
mild decline, moderate decline, moderately severe decline, severe 
decline, and very severe decline. (Keep those sorted one from the other 
if you can!)

These scales and descriptors focus decline and loss rather than on the richness of the human experience.

At best, they set us up to see the glass half empty rather than half full; at worst they foster the belief that people with dementia are on a journey that is nothing more than a long slow, tortuous train through hell – a journey in which they are robbed of their very selves as they disappear into a black hole of oblivion.

This overwhelmingly negative perspective is an injustice to people who have dementia, and is problematic in all kinds of other ways. Among them:
  • It goes hand-in-hand with the traditional biomedical model of the disease, which in itself creates a multitude of care issues.

  • It results in people treating people with dementia in demeaning and unhelpful ways.

  • It causes family, friends, and caregivers to suffer more loss, pain and grief than they need to.
No wonder we are all so terrified of this “horrible” disease!
But it doesn’t have to be like this. I know because I have discovered 
treasures amidst the tragedy.

One simple way to transform the way we see the disease and the people who have it is to use a positive approach centered on people’s humanity and on what they can do rather than on what they can’t.

Go to Susan's site to check out Tepia Snow's look at the gem approach to talking about Alzheimer's Disease.  

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