Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blogging to Help End Alzheimer's Disease

by Paula Neal Mooney

I'll admit it, I didn't have much of an emotional grasp on Alzheimer's disease and how it can affect the afflicted person and the ones that love them until I saw the results of it on TV.

Whether in interviews with family members who describe the horror of having to tell someone with Alzheimer's afresh that a loved one they keep asking for has died -- and having that person experience the grief afresh each time -- or portrayed in movies or film, I'm starting to get an inkling of the hell it must be to live with Alzheimer's disease.

The film that solidified it somewhat sweetly for me was The Notebook, wherein Gena Rowland's character had the forethought to write down the love-of-her-life story in (what else?) a notebook, and made her husband promise to read it to her all the time when she could no longer remember it.

Chiefly, Grey's Anatomy did an excellent job of touching the pain of a daughter struggling with a brilliant mom frustrated by the ravages of Alzheimer's.

But these are all fiction, of course.

In real life, the Alzheimer's Association knows first hand what sufferers endure, and they are working hard at raising money to cure this heartbreaking condition by holding a nationwide
Alzheimer's Memory Walk.

They are encouraging folks to sign up early (they have online sign up) and even become a Team Captain if they so desire.

I plopped in my zip code and found four different walks in my area, all with varying start and end times, so check your own local area if you're interested.

They have a video up about the
Alzheimer's Memory Walk, stating that every 72 seconds someone develops the dreaded disease, and that 5 million people suffer from it.

Hopefully with the hard work done to raise funds and encourage others, this number will decrease drastically.


maurizio said...

Speaking about movies, it reminds me 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.

One of the saddest movie I've ever seen.
Well..the movie is not that sad, but the whole idea behind it is sad imho.

Hair Loss Treatment said...

Alzheimer's disease is dreadful. I had a first hand experience with my grand father. Before that it was just another disease for me. Trust me it is hell everyday for the patient as well as the caretakers. Its heartbreaking to see the minds of perfectly normal people just slipping away from them.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Hi Maurizio
Yes, I saw that movie, too.

And I agree that would be very hurtful to not have someone remember a person they love over and over again.

Hey...Hair Loss Treatment
I'm sorry that your grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

I would hate to imagine someone you love so dearly not remembering someone they love so much.

I pray for the caretakers and the patient -- because I also know the patients can be violent in their confusion.

And hopefully funding can lead to a cure so fewer and fewer people have to go thru this.

San Francisco Giants said...

Alzheimer's is a dangerous disease. I feel for all who have it and would support it in any way that I can.

Kathy NC said...

My name is Kathy, and I am the primary caregiver for my 79 year old Dad who has Alzheimer's disease and lives with me in North Carolina.

I am writing a daily blog that shows the lighter side of caring for someone with dementia.

Please pass this link along to anyone you feel would enjoy it.



scarletth said...

Alzheimer's disease is disorder which not only affects the afflicted person but also hurts the care taker a lot. The most dreadful thing is there is no proper medicine found till now to cure this disease. I have not still watched the movie you mentioned. I will surely watch it.
Thanks for posting.

Paula Neal Mooney