Summary: A new paper shows that many people with dementia lead rich and meaningful lives.
One of the reasons a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has carried such a stigma is the view that having the disease means losing all your memories, and therefore, losing your “self.”
But the idea of losing your sense of self as you lose your memory doesn’t really fit with much of what I’ve observed. Even as my father lost his memories, he kept his sense of humor, his sense of rhythm and melody, and his sense of right and wrong. Even as he lost track of his exact relationship with friends and family, he kept his sense of love for all of us. I would argue that he never lost his sense of self.