Quite a title isn't it? Our society puts too much emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, the labels and symptoms generally associated with the disease. In, on the contrary, little emphasis is placed on the people who suffer from the disease. Do you know what your loved one experiences and feels once they are diagnosed? Do you know his frustrations, his irritations of not being understood, of not being able to communicate his ideas adequately, of seeing his independence gradually run out of steam?
The case of Richard Taylor
Let me tell you a real life story from Richard Taylor, a psychologist who, upon retirement, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Despite everything, he wrote a remarkable book about himself ( Alzheimer's from the inside out ). Richard once told his wife that after their dog died, he wanted another one. His wife refused because, according to her, he could not take care of it, as if to take him out and feed him. She didn't want to have more responsibilities. For Richard, the presence of a dog in his life filled his loneliness and insecurity, and in his discussion with his wife, he was able to verbalize his share of responsibility for such an engagement. The dog represented for him an activity of choice. His wife, on the other hand, didn't want to have to "do things for him," and Richard still had the ability "to do certain things himself."
Alzheimer's disease exposes us to a new reality in terms of communication, needs and behavior, both for loved ones and for those affected. The Montessori method, adapted for people with dementia, is based on strong humanist ideas and on the application of some concrete principles, simple to apply to all types of activities allowing people with cognitive disorders to gradually regain an active dynamic and positive. (Extract from an article by Jérome Erkes: reference: www.ag-d.fr )