Author(s): Margaret R. Miles
The Long Goodbye: Dementia Diaries discusses a disease that is both personal and social for more than five million patients and their families and friends in the United States today. Now that there are medical strategies for preventing and/or curing strokes, heart attacks, even cancer, many more people are going to live into the dementia years in the near future. Although many dementia horror stories circulate in conversation and in the media, they are not the whole story. Creative approaches to loving a dementia patient can make for a valuable learning experience for family and caregivers.
In The Long Goodbye Margaret Miles describes her commitment to making–rather than passively suffering–her spouse’s dementia experience. Family and friends who accompany patients find embedded in the experience moments of great beauty, hilariously funny incidents, new companions, and life insights. The narrative provides both a travelogue and suggestions for a richly meaningful life passage for all participants. The Long Goodbye seeks to supply a balanced picture of a disease usually represented as unmitigated loss.