Been thinking about how we think about agitation in persons with dementia and how, as a result, we treat it, or really fail to treat it....

Been thinking about how we think about agitation in persons with dementia and how, as a result, we treat it, or really fail to treat it....

.... because we think of it as just a brain disease.

Yeats’ “Quarrel in Old Age” explains what I’m thinking. First stanza: imagine the speaker; a daughter, just off the phone following a call from the nursing home staff who care for her mother, and, in the second stanza, pay close attention to the punctuation.

“Where had her sweetness gone?
What fanatics invent
In this blind bitter town,
Fantasy or incident
Not worth thinking of
Put her in a rage.
I had forgiven enough
That had forgiven old age.

“All lives that has lived;
So much is certain;
Old sages were not deceived:
Somewhere beyond the curtain
Of distorting days
Lives that lonely thing
That shown before those eyes
Targeted, trod like Spring.”

W.B. Yeats