"I want to provide the best care possible. The suffering has gone on for a long time, and I want to be sure the end stage is as comfortable as possible."
This common sentiment is ex-pressed by both health care professionals responsible for caring for frail elders experiencing the later stages of dementia and family members trying to ensure the most compassionate care for their loved ones. Health care providers and family members often struggle with painful decisions when confronting the inevitable while providing love, compassion, and care. Modern medicine may offer seemingly promising treatments, but eventually, the impact of Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia can cause profound deterioration in the patient's quality of life. The focus must eventually shift to compassionate end-of-life care. This guidebook reflects Dr. Gordon's extensive experience with health care professionals and families struggling with these poignant and difficult decisions.
"... families will learn much about helping patients with dementia, but so too will physicians and other caregivers. Michael Gordon's humanity shines through every page, and, when combined with his medical expertise, the result is a guide which is both truly thoughtful and practically useful."
-Professor Arthur Schafer, Director, Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, University of Manitoba
"Dr. Gordon is truly a healer whose experience as a geriatrician provides a road map for all of us who want to provide care, respect, and love for people diagnosed with dementia."
-Steven R. Sabat, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University