Though the notion of viewing Alzheimer's as a second childhood is indeed controversial, there is certainly wisdom in thinking creatively about how to best meet the complex needs of those who live with the disease. As for my mother, she seems to find a measure of joy in a familiar face and in spending time with those who hold her dear. Hair brushing, soothing arm tickling, singing, holding hands, eye contact, offering soft kisses, and drinking a milkshake through a colorful straw- these are the things that seem to bring her joy.
Shared moments of pleasure made manifest through the simple act of slowing down, sharing time together and of bearing witness to the grace that arises. I'd wager it's a tried and true recipe of joy for us all. Milkshake anyone?