Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Different View of Alzheimer's Patients

The Well blog posted a slideshow from a photo exhibition and book of Alzheimer's patients by Cathy Greenblat:
The book, “Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently,” was written by Cathy Greenblat, a professor emerita of sociology at Rutgers University who found a second career as a photographer. The exhibition has toured the world and is currently on display at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University in Manhattan.

“I wanted to show what many people don’t know about Alzheimer’s,” Ms. Greenblat said, “that there are ways we can take care of people that build on their remaining capacities instead of just protecting them from danger.”

In one of the many vivid photographs in her book, Ms. Greenblat shows an elderly Houston woman named Luleene, a former musician who played the organ, sang and loved animals, with her husband, Joe. To help her feel connected to her past, the hospice that assists her includes sessions with a music therapist in her weekly program as well as visits with pets.

Alzheimer's Disease and Hospice Care
More than 5 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the U.S. today, and this number is expected to grow even higher. And for every one person with dementia, there are numerous others in the picture, providing care as the disease progresses. When a person enters the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, care needs become more intensive and demanding. Many people are surprised to learn that hospice is available to help care for people in the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. This program, “Alzheimer’s Disease and Hospice Care” will help you understand how hospice helps persons with advanced dementia face the end of life with compassion and dignity.