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Memory loss can be one of the most terrifying aspects of a diagnosis of dementia. Yet the fear and dread of losing our memory make the experience of the disease worse than it needs to be, according to cultural critic and playwright Anne Davis Basting. She says, Forget memory. Basting emphasizes the importance of activities that focus on the present to improve the lives of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Based on ten years of practice and research in the field, Basting’s study includes specific examples of innovative programs that stimulate growth, humor, and emotional connection; translates into accessible language a wide range of provocative academic works on memory; and addresses how advances in medical research and clinical practice are already pushing radical changes in care for persons with dementia.
Bold, optimistic, and innovative, Basting's cultural critique of dementia care offers a vision for how we can change the way we think about and care for people with memory loss.
Johns Hopkins University Press
An outstanding survey for both health and general collections.
The further I read the more impressed I became with Ann Basting's book.
Introduction: Dementia Is Hard, but It Needn't Be This Hard 1
Part 1 Understanding Our Fears About Dementia 7
1 What Is (and Isn't) Memory? How a Better Understanding of Memory Might Ease Our Fears about Its Loss 13
2 The Danger of Stories: How Stereotypes and the Stigma of Aging and Dementia Can Hurt Us 25
Part 2 The Stories We Tell about Dementia in Popular Culture 31
3 Memory Loss in the Mainstream: Tightly Told Tragedies of Dementia with Science as Hero 35
4 Tightly Told Tragedies of Dementia: Then versus Now 40
5 Not So Tightly Tragic: Stories That Imagine Something More 46
6 Not Tragic at All: Stories about Memory Loss without the Old 50
7 All of the Above: Denny Crane as the Clown of Dementia 61
Part 3 Moving Through Fear: Stories About Dementia that Inspire Hope 67
8 StoryCorps and the Memory Loss Initiative 71
9 Memory Bridge 80
10 To Whom I May Concern 87
11 Time Slips Creative Storytelling Project 94
12 Songwriting Works 104
13 Dance: "Respect" and "Sea of Heartbreak" 111
14 The Visual Arts 117
15 Duplex Planet: The Art of Conversation 127
16 The Photography of Wing Young Huie 134
17 Autobiographies by People with Dementia 145
Conclusion: How and Why to Move through Our Fears about Dementia 155
A Program Description and Contact Information 169
B Recipes from Chapter 1 176
C Images and Stories of Dementia 178
D Timeline of Stories and Events in the Recent History of Dementia 181