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Turn of Mind
A first novel that is both lyrical and shocking.
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As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

Created: 05/18/12

Replies: 6

Posted May. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 447

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As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

In her notebook Jennifer describes her life in a fog. As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?


Posted May. 23, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

Dementia returns a person to a childlike, dependent state. For one thing, all sense of propriety is lost and the patient can't understand why he or she is wrong to, say, strip naked in public, something a child would have to be chastised for doing to learn what's right and what's wrong. Dementia patients must be cared for, and watched every minute, lest they do something that's a danger to themselves or others. The intention to harm isn't necessarily there but the person has no filter and not enough experience with right and wrong to be left alone. It's as if the person has come full circle in life.


Posted May. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jacquelynh

Join Date: 06/14/11

Posts: 34

RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

When a child grows up and experiences loss of innocence, he or she gains dignity and respect in gradually accepting responsibility, the ability to create his/her own path, and find dignity in choice. With Alzheimer's all of these abilities gradually decrease. Sad, sad, sad.


Posted Jun. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jm

Join Date: 06/03/12

Posts: 4

RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

When a child grows and matures and loses innocence, it is replaced. so to speak, by lots of non-childlike ways. When an adult loses memory and other aspects of mind, it's hard to see that much is gained.
When a child grows, he or she has a type of fan club or cheering section, happy to see the growth and change. While there's a minimum of attachment (sentimental?) to the earlier innocent self, the gains are usually assumed to make up for the losses. When an adult slows down, mentally or otherwise, I don't think there's much cheering.
Perhaps there's a more age-appropriate way to look at the loss - hinted at in the book when Dr. White is at her support group.


Posted Jun. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

As children grow up, their world becomes larger. As age and/or disability sets in, the world becomes smaller and smaller. Support groups are helpful for some. As someone with a physical disability that keeps me at home much of the time, I am thankful for the internet and sites such as this one to keep my world wide.


Posted Jun. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

With Alzheimer's, the individual gradually loses judgement, memory, reason and most of the abilities of an adult and behaves like an infant in that they cannot learn from past experiences. Unfortunately, there are no "Developmental Milestones" for the progression of Alzheimers but a diminishing of faculties. The saddest thing about the disease is that the adult person functions as an innocent child and will lose more abilities rather than gain them.


Posted Jun. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
edie

Join Date: 04/05/12

Posts: 22

RE: As people grow up, we expect a loss of innocence. How is the process reversed in Alzheimer's dementia?

I equate childhood innocence with the belief that the world is good, people are kind and one can do and be anything he sets his mind to. It's a time marked by trust and delight.

Given that definition, I don't quite agree with the premise that Alzheimer's returns its victims to this state. In my limited experience with the disease, the patient is often hostile, suspicious, and angry. When they can't find something, it's because someone has take it; when they are given medication, they wonder if it's poison; even loved ones are considered enemies.

The real loss, especially as seen in "Turn of the Mind" is the ability to order and make sense of the events of one's life. Jennifer has crystal clear images of past events, but she the edges between past and present are blurred and jumbled. Her internal time-line is broken and scattered.


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