Remembering William (Bill) Keane: Always the Teacher

There will be a wonderful gathering of Aging Services professionals on Saturday, August 21 in Chicago to celebrate the life of our friend, colleague, and passionate advocate for dementia capable care, William Keane.  Bill is one of the many mentors who shaped my philosophies and personal mission in eldercare, and I am honored to be one who will share how Bill continued to teach me, even in the later stages of dementia. In Bill's honor, I would like to share a snippet, because it is a reminder to all of us that wisdom still lives inside a person with dementia.

Dementia hit close to home for me recently. It had probably been six or so years since I had last seen a friend and former co-worker. He had fallen out of sight, and now I know why. I visited him at the assisted living community where he had been living for several months with cognitive impairment that had advanced to late-mid stage dementia.

I was so glad that he recognized me. We had a wonderful conversation and reminisced about people we knew and past work projects. As time went on, he became lost in the conversation, but unexpectedly said something remarkable, “We all need to germinate something wonderful and wise".

Indeed we do Bill, indeed. This weekend, we will remember your wonderful contributions to improving the care of elders and the wisdom that lived on, until you took your last breath.

With admiration and gratitude, dear Bill.