Mom, as I sit down to write my letter I wonder how I can possibly start to share all my feelings with you. So much has changed since you developed Alzheimer's 11 years ago. As I gather my thoughts I realize that you will not be able to comprehend most of what I say.
It is important to remember that early warning signs can include more than just memory loss, and that detection is one of the most powerful tools that people today have against Alzheimer's. We can all dream for a day where there will be a cure for Alzheimer's, but for those of us facing this disease today, paying attention to the warning signs is one of our most powerful tools for success.
The Judy Fund has contributed to Alzheimer's Association mission activities including, research, care and advocacy, and most recently the focus has been on raising awareness and learning why women are disproportionately impacted by Alzheimer's disease.
I haven't seen the movie "Still Alice" because my mother has Alzheimer's disease. While she slips away into the advanced stages of this ferocious illness, I can't watch anything that illustrates the journey my family is on.
When she's handed her trophy, she'll be speaking directly to hundreds of millions of people around the world. During those two minutes, Moore has a chance to be the voice for more than 44 million people living with Alzheimer's.
Rather than thinking of 75 as the time to die, let us continue to re-imagine 21st century life where 75 is a robust time of engagement and work. Perhaps for many even just the start of yet another phase of life.
People with Alzheimer's may have great difficulty figuring out the simplest activities. The following story illustrates that poignantly.
Ezekiel Emanuel is a very distinguished scientist... Needless to say, his 5,000-word piece evoked a lot of debate, although everyone agreed he makes some important and startling points. They are his reasons for saying that he hopes to die at 75 and that, after he turns 65, he plans to discontinue all his health care -- no flu shots, colonoscopies, surgery, pacemakers.
Even though he had forgotten about the move, the sound of his voice asking to go home reverberated in my head and troubled me for days.
As he puts it: "...death is a loss... but...living too long is also a loss." It's a question of which we prefer, a shorter more vibrant life, or a longer one in which we eventually will have to cope with the challenge of a slow decline.
Once a force of nature who routinely cooked so many hand-rolled perogies that the table sagged under their weight, now she sits in a daze, often staring at the television, completely unengaged in the world. She refuses to cook, knit or go for walks which used to be things she enjoyed.
Conventional brain science has no explanation. It has long assumed that as the brain goes, so goes the mind; for the brain is what gives rise to the mind. The return of mental clarity and memory in a brain ravaged by Alzheimer's is not supposed to happen. Yet it does in some cases.
We started our visit by talking about Ruth's experience dancing with soldiers at an Army base during World War II. She tells me that story every time I visit, and I enjoy it each time as much as the time before.
I had to tell my children that I was just diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, a demon of a disease that had taken their maternal grandfather and grandmother. I learned early on in journalism that if you don't tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.
Each year, Alzheimer's awareness is heightened on September 21, World Alzheimer's Day. This dreaded disease impacts not only the person living with it, but also their loved ones.
As I'm sitting here writing this, nearly 15 years have passed since that fateful evening Ed was found driving on the wrong side of the road. Since that first sign that something serious was wrong with him. I was only 50 then; now I'm into my 60s. The years have gone by slowly.