Do I need to know this?!?

Of course, I don’t want to ever get cancer, but I figure at some point I will. If I do, I’ll take every possible route to make it go away or, at the very least, keep it under control for as long as possible.

Alzheimer’s disease, that’s another issue entirely.  It scares me out of my wits, especially because there’s basically not much we can do about keeping it in check. Consider the case of FOF Marjie, recently diagnosed with very early stage Alzheimer’s, after having trouble with numbers and remembering what someone just said. Although tests can now reveal signs of the disease years before actual dementia sets in, I’m not so sure I’m interested in being quite so well informed. If I can’t make it go away, what would I do?  Wait for signs every day, worried I won’t remember where I am or the name of the person in the room with me, who is actually my daughter?

It pains my heart whenever I see someone completely under Alzheimer’s evil spell. Maybe they’re not quite so out of it as they appear.  A PR person recently sent me a new book called I’m Still Here by Dr. John Zeisel, which claims it’s possible to have meaningful communication with Alzheimer’s patients.

I am going to read it and if it makes sense to me, I am going to ask my children to read it, too.

4 Responses to “Do I need to know this?!?”

  1. Sam says:

    Great blog. Have read the book you mentioned and found it enlightening. Also recently was a documentary film we got on amazon, that by chance has an interview sequence with author of the book. The film is called “I Remember Better When I Paint” and it examines how the creative arts – music, painting etc bring amazing results for people dealing with dementia such as Alzheimer’s. Wanted to share with you as this film is truly inspiring. We had read about it in this article:
    http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/art-and-alzheimers-another-way-of-remembering-25996/

    I would recommend it as a must-see as it brings to life many of the points in the book.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for this.

      Geri

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  2. thereislightonthehorizon says:

    Even after caring for and watching my Grandmother go through the stages of Alzheimer’s, I still feel like I have my head in the sand when it comes to my Mom’s aging and my own “forgetfullness” these days. Sooner or later this (or a variation of it) will be knocking at the door and right this moment I am unprepared.

    Let us know how informative the book is and maybe put a kick to our backsides to make it a necessary read as much as getting the legalities in shape.

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  3. Toby Wollin says:

    One of the problems with ‘the Alzheimer’s Scene’ in this country is that there is so much promotion and information about Alzheimer’s disease that people forget that there are numerous forms of dementia, caused by all sorts of stuff, which have totally different courses than Alzheimer’s. My mom, after a heart attack and a stroke, developed (because she’d had a series of TIAs earlier, the so-called ‘mini-strokes’ that supposedly produce ‘no harm’) what is referred to as Multi-infarct Dementia. Totally different breed of cat than Alzheimer’s disease and definitely not this gentle ‘long good-bye’. Families need to understand that if a loved one develops dementia, it might be the sort that makes the “Jane Eyre/Mrs. Rochester locked up in the attic” situation sound really familiar. So, make sure that elderly loved ones have all of their legal papers in place (while they still are able to sign for themselves), have a durable Power of Attorney in place, a Living Will that will stand challenges, and a lawyer who is adept at Elder Law.

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