Dementia and the Daunting Challenge for Families

I think it strange and disheartening that as a society, once a friend or a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the overwhelming reaction is to feel primary sympathy for the spouse and family, rather than for those struck down. It seems that after the initial blow has been absorbed, we are very quick to diminish, and then sever, emotional connections with those losing their short term memory. For many of us, half a man, is no man at all.

The Odyssey of Memory

America’s Baby Boomers are transfixed by the rapidly declining health of their parents; embarrassing incontinence one day, excruciating constipation another, all too familiar flash backs of what we did a few years ago for our children. Still the unspoken and dreaded terror, lurking behind all of our faith and dreams, is godforsaken dementia. All around us we witness the epidemic of dementia in our family and friends, and are painfully aware that the medical community offers little in the way of comfort or answers. Dementia is the least silent killer, and this rolling tragedy seems to merit little discussion and less hopeful prayers.