My great aunt Hilda had been in a nursing home for quite a few years. She suffered from an auto-immune disease as well as a condition that dried out her mucous membranes: mouth, throat, nose, eyes. She was blind and in constant pain.
She loved horses and used to ride as a child. One day, I brought my saddle to her room. She ran her hands over it and over and over it, crying and laughing.
Later, when her condition worsened, I would place my hands on her head. Her pain would leave, and she would fall into a quiet sleep.