Monday, October 14, 2013

Babies are therapeutic. Caring for someone who is so completely helpless gives rewards in being able to sustain another even when it is exhausting. The tender love of families for their children is moving. The same is true at the other end of the spectrum. While most of us would not choose to go back to that baby-like state, many of us will. Alzheimer disease is common and Alzheimer disease causes dependence. And dependence can be beautiful. I have seen the loveliest scenes from tired family in the act of caring for a patient with Alzheimer disease: the candy that made the anxious lady smile, the gentle washing of a dirty bottom, the tender pedicure of arthritic, crumpled feet, the handling of a friendly dog. So many caregivers are selfless heroes minimizing their work for the joy of recompensing the ones they love. Caring for the elderly is therapeutic. 

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