“The psychologist offered us chairs but never smiled… I couldn’t believe how unfriendly he seemed.” A neuropsychiatrist, when asked by E.T., “What should I do?” responded, “Don’t buy a boat of a 10,000 square foot house.”
Eventually, after much effort, E.T. assembles a caring team that treats Jim with dignity and, indeed, love. Most people would not have had E.T.’s persistence and moxie. Perhaps, that is one reason why so many dementia patients wind up in nursing homes.
Illness narratives fall into three categories: quest, restitution, chaos. Chaos is the least commonly written and the hardest to read. It may also be the most important, the truest type of pathography. Dignifying Dementia is mostly a chaos story, with an admixture of restitution made possible by the team of carers that formed around Jim. It is a memorable book that will help all of us who will be called to care for vulnerable individuals suffering from the varied forms of dementia. Order from Amazon. Kindle is only $3.99