Fall River Jewish Home

The Jewish Response to Dementia

In our work with Jewish families in the Greater Boston area, we commonly receive questions about the ethical conflicts Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia create. Because a treatment or cure still remains elusive, family members are often forced to make difficult decisions on a senior loved one’s behalf.

It is especially true if their loved one hasn’t made their wishes for care known before the disease robbed them of their cognitive abilities. We thought it would be helpful to share a few resources with families to help them work through the emotional and ethical issues the progression of Alzheimer’s disease causes.

Dementia Care Resources for Jewish Families

Here are seven resources you can find and review online to help you manage this caregiving struggle:

  1. A Jewish Response to Dementia: Honoring Broken Tablets by Rabbi Cary Kozberg. Rabbi Kozberg is the Director of Rabbinical and Pastoral Services at Wexner Heritage Village in Columbus, Ohio.
  2. The Care of Patients with Dementia: A Modern Jewish Ethical Perspective by AB Jotkowitz, AM Clarfield, S. Glick. Published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in May of 2005.
  3. Jewish Medical Ethics and End-of-Life Care by BM Kinzbrunner. Published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine in August of 2004.
  4. A Journey into Dementia – The Absence of Presence by Rabbi Richard Address. Published on Sacred Jewish Aging in 2009.
  5. Faith, Aging and Dementia by Jon C. Stuckey. Published at SAGE Publications in 2009.

You might also find these books to be of help in coping with a senior loved one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia:

One final suggestion is to join an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group at your local Jewish Community Center or through the Alzheimer’s Association chapter closest to you. It may help you to talk with other families who are experiencing similar struggles in coping with their loved one’s dementia.

We’re here to answer questions and help you make the best decision for care for you or your loved one. We invite you to reach out and talk with one of our care specialists at Fall River Jewish Home today! CALL 1.508.679.6172, where assistance is just a phone call away. 

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