Visiting the dementia unit of a nursing home is never easy. First off, you have to find your patient amid the assemblage of people--mostly women--seated in wheelchairs, recliners, wingbacks, sofas and assorted walkers, or wandering around. Then, you must make yourself known to the person you've found. Here's where the harder questions arise: How can I introduce myself and convey my role--a hospice chaplain--to someone who has outlasted language? Is my state ...

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