Quotes

Successful aging is not the absence of cognitive changes, but the adaptation to them – Baltes & Baltes, 1990

“We are all old people in training” – Dr. Joanne Lynn

“If life is a wine shop, you are at the top shelf” – Ashton Applewhite

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

“Society is judged by how it treats its citizens, in the dawn of life, in the shadow of life and in the twilight of life” – Hubert Humphrey

A community is judged by how it treats those individuals who are less fortunate  – Elie Wiesel

Ageing is a lifelong process and the preparation for old age must begin in childhood and continue throughout the life cycle – United Nations General Assembly (1992, as cited in Atal, 2001)

Sometimes it ain’t so who’s got a right to say when a man is crazy and when he ain’t. Sometimes I think it ain’t none of us pure crazy and ain’t none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it ain’t so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it – William Faulkner

Normality is never recognized by the attendant in a milieu where abnormality is the normal expectancy – Erving Goffman, 1961

The difference between social non-conformity and mental illness…does not necessarily lie in any observable facts to which they point, but may consist only of a difference in our attitudes toward our subject. If we take him seriously, consider him to have to human rights and dignities, and look upon him as more or less our equal, we then speak of disagreements, deviations, fights, crimes, perhaps even treason. Should we feel, however, that we cannot communicate with him, that he is somehow ‘basically’ different from us, we shall then be inclined to consider him no longer as an equal but rather as an inferior person; and we then speak of him as being crazy, mentally ill, insane, psychotic, immature, and so forth – Dr. Erving Goffman – Quote from his groundbreaking book Asylums (1961): Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates (pages 364-365)

I enjoy talking with very old people. They have gone before us on a road by which we, too, may have to travel, and I think we do well to learn from them what it is like – Socrates

People think agitation is inevitable, but it’s because they’re depressed about how they’re being treated! – A staff member in a day center for people with dementia, as cited in Lyman, 1989

“We are not trying to get rid of behavioral distress. What we’re trying to do is to create well-being.” – Dr. Allen G. Power

Question by Eilon Caspi: Do you think that it is possible to delay Alzheimer’s disease progression with a comprehensive behavioral approach at least as or more than available medications? Professor Louis Burgio: “Absolutely.”

What I found most helpful when taking care of Nanny was remembering that while she would yell at us or be hurt that we could not stay with her forever, it wasn’t her real self reacting. We try to remember that Alzheimer’s disease takes people’s lives away and the unfamiliar person we see is just as unfamiliar to them. Until we find a cure, our family will fight for Nanny because underneath the shell of memory-loss, the confusion, and the sadness, there is a person with a heart that will always remember – Erin Bryant, a granddaughter of a woman in the middle-stages of Alzheimer’s disease when she was living in an Assisted Living Residence, 2006

“People with dementia may have something important to teach the rest of humankind. If we make the venture one of genuine and open engagement, we will learn a great deal about ourselves.“ Professor Tom Kitwood

“Kindness is a language we can all understand. Even the blind can see it. And the deaf can hear it.” – Mother Theresa

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” – The Little Prince, 1943

“It takes hands to build a house but only a heart to build a home.” Dr. Jocelyn Charles, Medical Director, Dorothy Macham Home, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible”  – Judy Berry, President, Dementia Specialist Consulting

“The paradoxical effect is that if you pay less attention to risk and more attention to living, it actually reduces risk.” – Anonymous attendee at Prof. Lynn McDonald’s presentation on resident-to-resident aggression in long-term care)

“Of all forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”-  Martin Luther King Jr.

It is the rabbi’s job “to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” – Rabbi Herbert Brockman’s, Congregation Miskan Israel, Hamden, CT

Rabbi Norman Cohen: Another version of that quote can be found in an Andy Capp comic strip close to 40 years ago. The minister walks into Andy’s place where he is asleep on the couch. The screen door slams and awakens Andy, who looks up and sees the pastor and remarks: “Why did you disturb (afflict) me? I thought your job was to comfort the afflicted.” The minister responds: “That’s only half of it. My job is also to afflict the comfortable!”