"While memory impairment erodes the spirit's ability to express itself through words and actions considered normal, it doesn't mean the spirit is not present. It still shines, but speaks differently," (Shook and Winner, The Silverado Story, p. 12).
All too often do we think that someone who has a cognitive impairment is lost. Sometimes we ignore them, sometimes we patronize them and often we think that the person we once knew is no longer there. What The Silverado Story reminds me is that even if people have "lost their mind", they never ever lose their spirit. The person we once knew may seem distant, but all hope is not lost. What I love about Silverado, the senior living community for those with memory impairment, is that they believe that "the human spirit glows until we take our last breath" (Shook and Winner, p. 12). Don't tell me that's not beautiful!
If you know someone who has memory issues, have hope, because your loved one is still human and has likes, dislikes, loves and passions. There's just a new type of language being presented and our job is to work together to figure it out.