Aug 1, 2015

Richard Taylor on the Dementia Patient as Backward Child

We lock persons living with the symptoms of dementia into a straight jacket from which there is no chance of emotional nor intellectual development (will they ever experience anything new and joy filled in their lives, can they?).

Alzheimer's Reading Room

In order to understand Richard Taylor's comment which I am publishing below, you will first need to read Elaine Pereira's article -- Is the Progression of Decline in Alzheimer’s Patients the Reverse of Infant Development?

Richard Taylor on the Dementia Patient

For those of you who are not familiar with Richard he lives with dementia, has a PhD,  and is the author of the book - Alzheimer's from the Inside Out.

Richard's comments and articles are always thought provoking and provide us with insight into the mind of a person living with Alzheimer's.


Richard Taylor's comment was originally posted under the article, Is the Progression of Decline in Alzheimer’s Patients the Reverse of Infant Development?

Hello, the moment we embrace this unproven speculation we lock persons living with the symptoms of dementia into a straight jacket from which there is no chance of emotional nor intellectual development (will they ever experience anything new and joy filled in their lives, can they?).

We lock ourselves into seeing them and treating them as if they were literally fading away, when in fact they are all right here in the moment.  We look toward their degenerative future and miss the here and now.

It is understandable why we jump to these conclusions based on the assumption they are already on a slippery slope, fading away, half empty, incomplete as human beings, experiencing a reduction in their human adult needs, BUT, it is better to err on the side of deterioration or on the side of completeness?

Learn MoreThe Best Way to Find Solutions to the Problems that Alzheimer's Caregivers Face Each Day

Should we see, feel, and treat them as half empty vessels? Even with babies we see their fullness, even when they can't express it themselves. Once we close the book on their futures we doom them to our own self fulfilling prophesy of their futures.

This smells and tastes of psychoanalysis in reverse. This has already been discredited as a complete and sound explanation for development, why would we want to reverse the process and use it as an explanation for the decomposition of the human mind?

With young minds we accept them for who they are and honor them for who they are.

Why as we grow older do we reject them because they are not like us and will never be, when in fact we are just like you, just older, just wiser, just slower, just us.

Richard

Editor note: all emphasis and bolding are mine.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room