Everyday, I walk through the hallway of the assisted living / skilled nursing facility in which I work. I see Max (name has been changed) and cheerfully say, “Hello Max.” I can’t help but be cheerful because he has this delightfully surprised look on his face, like he’s meeting a long-time fan that he’s never seen before in his life. It makes my day.
Max used to be mayor and like his friend Joe (an old barber), they are a pleasure to be around in this stage of Dementia.
They seem to be in the blissful stage of not remembering. My experience is limited and I have no expectation of either of these men’s kindness, history or personality. I have a fresh look at his spirit, I have the privilege of seeing him for the person that he is right at this moment. And that is what Dementia becomes, moment to moment.
Which begs the question, do we become what we practice? In our most basic representation of life and spirit; living moment to moment, without expectation and history, how do we impact the immediate world around us? Is their demeanor part of their nature or is it in the time they spent being friendly and cordial in their daily lives?
In Dementia, Adaptation is the adventure. When you loose all your memories, all you have left is life.