by Mary Ann Littell
Dementia. The word evokes feelings of fear, vulnerability and loneliness. Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, causes untold pain and suffering to victims and their loved ones. "I can't leave my husband alone for a minute," said the wife of an Alzheimer's patient. "I always have to be one step ahead of him."
Many Alzheimer's sufferers who are fortunate enough to have access to specialized day programs find comfort in being with others experiencing similar physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties. Their families also appreciate the respite from the demands of constant care giving.
The photographs on the following pages show participants at the COPSA Institute Day Program in Piscataway which provides therapeutic activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.