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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Whose Dementia Is This Anyway?

Kate discusses in a recent post on her blog, which originates in Australia, the idea that "the person living with someone who is diagnosed with dementia, is not living with dementia, but instead they are living with someone diagnosed and living with dementia."

See Kate's full post by clicking here. Opens in a .new window

Here is my reply:

Wow. What a thought provoker. I hate you for my having to sit down and think about this and clarify my thoughts :-) I often have said that Gregory and I are living with Dementia/ Alzheimer's. I have also referred to: "Living with and loving someone with dementia." 

Yes, I will never know what Gregory really went through, experienced, thought about, feared, etc. Also, Gregory was never really able to verbally share that with me through the protective buffer which the Dementia/ Alzheimer's placed between his inside and his outside world. 

But in our strong strong relationship; during the forty years of which we always discussed, shared, negotiated, evaluated and re-evaluated roles, and more; as I watched his decline, watched his abilities diminish and eventually disappear; as we worked together with love and respect to support each other; as I tried my best not underestimate or prematurely suggest or force his disengagement from the activities of life ... wow that is a dense sentence ... I would have to say that both of us WERE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA!

When you so truly and strongly love love someone, how can you separate who is who? Semantics maybe, but hard at least for me to separate! Kate, with respect to you :-) Gregory and I lived with dementia. Especially if you see it as Gregory and Michael living their life with a third party intruder! As you say, "IT!"

Let me reflect on your third party "it" with a poem of mine:

Would I be insulting your intelligence to tell you that Ménage à trois is a French term which originally described a domestic arrangement, in which three people having sexual relations occupy the same household? The phrase literally translates as "household of three.” This poem is called:

By Michael A. Horvich

Over twenty five years and their relationship was as strong as ever, 
Their love continuing to grow, change, and adjust to the times. 
Same sex love was not fashionable when they first met in the 70’s.
It was known as "the love that dare not speak its name." 

Most churches will not recognize nor bless their love, their union.
Slowly society has acknowledged it out loud but for the most part still in whispers.           
Each partner was very much unlike the other. 
He was tall and he was short. He was fair and he was dark. 

He was slender and he was bulky.
He was a recovering Catholic. He was a recovering Jew.
He was calm, thoughtful, and orderly.
He was animated, impulsive, and random.

Often he described him as a “stick” meaning hard, formed, and inflexible. 
In turn, he described him as a “sponge” meaning soft, malleable, absorbing. 
Over time the stick became more sponge-like
And the sponge became more stick-like.

One day, twelve years ago, uninvited and unannounced,
Unasked, a third partner joined the relationship. 
Alzheimer’s does not discriminate against same sex relationships,
Nor seek permission to join the party. 

So it became a ménage à trois.
Three entities occupying the same household.
Now, he is becoming less, and he is having to become more. 
Now he has difficulty communicating, and he has to tell both of their stories.

Slowly while he has been becoming the back partner in this ménage à trios
And while he has been becoming the forward partner …
Alzheimer’s is becoming the dominant partner.

(RIP Gregory L. Maire October 4, 2015)

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