Check out "Jane Austen's Guide to Alzheimer's" in today's New York Times...and then, read Jane Austen's Emma.

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Good point - I thought of Emma's caregiving role when I read the book and every time I saw the 2 movie versions. I don't know that the fictional Emma's father really did have Alzheimer's, or that it was even acknowledged as a disease then, but he was evidencing some confusion.

Of course, being wealthy, Emma didn't work for a living and other than planning to hook up friends for long term relationships, she didn't have much else to do.

But it was an interesting example of how Austen viewed or might have idealized caregiving in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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