Recently, I came across a website by Stan Goldberg, PhD — stangoldbergwriter.com. The website is about “aging, caregiving, dying, and recovering joy” (maybe not in that order?).
Dr. Goldberg is a retired professor from SF State, and was a hospice volunteer for eight years. He has published several books including “Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life” and “Leaning Into Sharp Points: Practical Guidance and Nurturing Support for Caregivers.”
In a 2011 article on his website, he offers suggestions of “some things to consider the next time you interact with a person who has or you suspect has dementia.” Dr. Goldberg’s seven suggestions include:
- Be Patient.
- Memories are not willingly lost.
- Accept changes.
- Offer help to the person.
- Offer Help to the Caregiver.
- You live in different worlds.
- Be Compassionate.
He asks that we give our best to a person we once knew as gregarious or capable of interacting with us: “Enjoy their presence while you still can and offer them the support and compassion you would want if it was you who were slowly moving on a one-way road to a strange, structureless place.”
Most of the seven suggestions apply to those without dementia who may need our compassion or help.
Here’s a link to Dr. Golberg’s webpage:
“Some things to consider the next time you interact with a person who has or you suspect has dementia”
Excerpted from “It’s Only Alzheimer’s, Not the Bloody Plague!”
by Stan Goldberg, PhD