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For many, living with advanced dementia is a fate worse than death


My grandmother, whom we called “Nana,” always loved children. Many times, she asked me to give her great-grandchildren.

In 2000, the moment finally arrived. But it didn’t seem to matter. Eagerly, tenderly I lay my newborn son in her arms. She sat motionless, her eyes void. No expression whatsoever. I searched her face, desperately hoping to see some sign of joy…of recollection…of understanding. Nothing. Her eyes were vacant. She could not speak. She did not move.

The reason? My nana had Alzheimer’s disease. It was during this visit that I started to contemplate the quality of li...

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