The Zen of Eating Cream of Wheat: A Journey Into Dementia

As a bedside hospice volunteer in San Francisco, I always have the choice of whether or not to accept an assignment. Some, I immediately know are right for me, such as sitting with a man my age who was estranged from his family and desperately wanted to reconnect with them. With others, especially those with advanced Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, I occasionally question whether the assignment makes sense—but not anymore.

The Path to Easy Learning

What do you think about when someone says "happiness?" Usually, what comes to mind are things, or outcomes. Happiness can be a four-car garage in the suburbs, a high-paying job, an expensive new car, or a child who becomes a successful professional. We have a tendency to externalize happiness. It becomes something intimately involved in a thing or event. It becomes a goal. Unfortunately, the path to that goal is often ignored.