My prayer is that you will be moved to action by this film -- for yourself, for your children, and for your grandchildren. Alzheimer's, or related dementia, could be your story someday, or the story of a loved one.
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.
One day my dear friend, Connie, was coming to visit Ed with me. I was an hour and a half early because I wanted to make sure he was awake, shaved and ...
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.
While we still have a long way to go with Alzheimer's, we are making progress. Researchers and scientists are learning more than ever about prevention strategies and ways to promote "brain health."
According to the Alzheimer's Association, about 60 percent of people who suffer from dementia wander at some point. For caregivers, this can be frightening because many of those who wander off end up confused and lost, even in their own neighborhood, and are unable to communicate who they are or where they live. But there are things you can do to guard against this and protect your loved one.
As World Alzheimer's Day approaches on Sept. 21, I encourage you to take an active role in your brain health by exercising your mind daily.
Bea Lerner, Trish Vradenburg's mother, called at 3:00 AM one morning to complain about a strange man in her house. Trish and her husband, George, immediately went there to find only one man in the house, her husband.
My mother is a character from a Tennessee Williams play... but without a Southern accent. I am her second child and was born when she was 16 years old. Her childhood was cut short and never spoken of in a way that imparted a sense of safety or innocence. Each man she ran away with she hoped would rescue her from the last. She gave up every child she bore to some degree.