To the editor:

Since the onset of the dementia of my wife, Judy, and her living in a nursing home for almost three years, one has learned much about loved ones with the progressive disease, which takes many forms.

For example, heart disease and cancer take many forms of illness in the human body. Those with dementia still love us and don’t forget their feelings we have had for each other. It is important to visit them frequently even if their memories fail.

Sometimes, visiting a loved one in a nursing home, hospital or one who is homebound has a healing effect on them. It is called “love.” After all, sometimes all we have to give a loved one who is ill with any illness is love. After all God is love indeed. Pray for and with your loved one. Kiss them, hug them and even feed them.

I am positive that the constant visits from our family members and friends and the attention of her professional caregivers and all her caregivers and staff has kept my wife alive and in good health and spirits.

She is at the Brudnik Center for Living, which is run by Chelsea Jewish Life Care. A nurse told me that even if we are not remembered, it is important to visit them as a loved one and not to insist we are a family member, as it frightens them.

Fortunately, Judy remembers us. She and all patients in nursing homes, even with dementia, can make new friends and acquaintances. Some are very compassionate to each other.

One can only suggest through experience is that the sick need our constant attention as visitors. That means anyone in a nursing home, hospital or who is homebound to keep them healthy at least emotionally and spiritually. Remember God is love and sometimes that is all we have to give.

Maybe, that is the greatest gift of all.

Philip J. Celeste


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