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Dignity For Deeply Forgetful People

How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer's Disease

How Caregivers Can Meet the Challenges of Alzheimer's Disease

Category: Health and Healing

In Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People (Johns Hopkins University Press, May 31, 2022), Post offers new perspectives on the worth and dignity of people with Alzheimer's and related disorders despite the negative influence of "hypercognitive" values that place an ethically unacceptable emphasis on human dignity as based on linear rationality and strength of memory.

This bias, Post maintains, is responsible for the abusive exclusion of this population from our shared humanity. With vignettes and narratives, he advocates for a deeper dignity grounded in consciousness, emotional presence, creativity, interdependence, music, and a self that is not "gone." Post explores the moments of surprising experience of “paradoxical lucidity” that almost all caregivers experience with their loved one, a lucidity VERDICT Essential reading for all caregivers, family, and healthcare providers of deeply forgetful people.

He explores the many ways to stimulate and connect with that continuing self. At a time when recent drugs to cure or slow Alzheimer’s are showing little effectiveness, Post argues that focusing discussion and resources on the relational dignity of these individuals and the respite needs of their caregivers is vital. Grounding an ethics of care on the equal worth of all conscious human beings, he provides a cautionary perspective on preemptive assisted suicide based on cases that he has witnessed. He covers 16 practical issues from diagnosis to hospice care based on 30 years of interacting with caregivers across the US and Canada. He advocates social and economic justice in an American system where caregivers and their loved ones receive only leftover scraps.

Racially inclusive and grounded in diversity, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People also includes a workshop appendix focused on communication and connection, "A Caregiver Resilience Program," designed by Rev. Dr. Jade C. Angelica to enhance the quality of life for deeply forgetful people, reduce stress and increase confidence for caregivers, and inspire a hopeful attitude for all

Internationally recognized for his work with Alzheimer's patients, their families and allied organizations. Stephen G. Post, PhD is an elected Member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Alzheimer's Disease International and one of only three recipients of the Alzheimer's Association Distinguished Service Award. His first book, The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) was hailed as a “medical classic of the century” by the British Medical Journal. In 2001 he founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love with Sir John Templeton.

Post is the founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

A leader in medicine, research and religion, Dr. Post continues to travel the globe speaking about memory issues and the transformative benefits of kindness, volunteering, spirituality, forgiveness and purpose. Visit him online at

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