Church’s familiar routine may comfort Alzheimer’s patient
Dear Abby: I'm writing about a letter you published Sept. 23 from "Friend in Arizona." She wrote that after her friend "Blanche" was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Blanche had asked not to be "paraded around for others to gawk at" after she reached a certain point. You advised that continuing to take her friend to church every Sunday was going against her wishes. I disagree.
I'm an LPN and specialize in Alzheimer's. I have been doing this for more than 25 years, and have headed Alzheimer care units. One of the things we strive for is some sense of normalcy. These people lose their short-term memory at first. But many have strong, vivid memories of years ago.
Going to church every Sunday is probably one of the few things Blanche actually remembers, and it most likely brings her a sense of comfort. Most of the parishioners probably have known her for years. This isn't walking through a mall full of strangers; it is enjoying fellowship with old friends. I'm sure they are not "gawking."
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