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We need you to advocate for Alzheimer's Victims!

The Alzheimer's plague must be eliminated!!

This is the first of what I hope will be an opportunity to share information regarding Alzheimer's and its ravages on families everywhere! I would like to hear your experiences and help if I can! Some times just sharing your thoughts can relieve some of the angst you are feeling!

My personal story begins with the loss of the grandparents of my children. I always looked forward(as I know they did) to them being active contributors, to my children's lives. As it happened, my kids lost them over a relatively short period of time, and well before they should have! I have had the misfortune of experiencing early onset, later onset and the demise of caretakers and loved ones, who in their valiant efforts to comfort and support spouses, disregarded their own health. A common plight with all caretakers, this selflessness and focus, takes a toll on their own well being.

My mom was diagnosed in her late fifties. It took a while to figure out, as they lived in Florida, and my Dad was cagey about sharing this reality, until it was brutally apparent to all of us. As a point of information, the earlier the symptoms appear, the sooner you die. Yes, Alzheimer's is a fatal disease which presently has no cure, as well as no proven means of arresting or delaying the effects.

I am consistently shocked at the number of folks I speak with, that are not aware that Alzheimer's is not just a loss of memory, but a cruel progression of the inability to speak, then eat, then breathe. So my mom passed at the age of 67, well below what we consider the "average" life span. Not two years later, my Dad, the penultimate caretaker(much to my surprise) passed on as a direct result of not caring for himself, as he cared for my mother. All of you caretakers out there, please, please...be sure to take good care of yourself as well, because there are many others who need you around after the worst!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed Bryan February 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM
You are so right! There are two facets to this scourge on humanity, the illness and stopping it and the people who take such wonderful care of their loved ones. There is a training event taking place at Newtown Masonicare, which I will get info and post! We need to put a voice to the afflicted, caretakers and families of these many millions of victims. Raise the level of awareness and get funding behind research as this incurable(at present) disease will swell it's numbers, as we baby boomers age! The current estimates are approximately 5.5 million! the demographic of the baby boomers aging over the next forty years will balloon this number to 13.5 million! Not only do we need to be concerned about current deficits, but the cost of caring for us as we age will certainly bankrupt our treasury if we don't demand a cure! Please go to http://alz.org/petition and send a message to washington...our short term goal is 250,000 and we are already more than half way there! Thanks for your help and comments!
M.G. March 02, 2012 at 05:26 PM
It is still shocking that Alzheimer's is associated with only memory loss. I watched my father's demise as we were rudely awakened to the disease's toll on, not just his memory, but of his functions. Through it all, my mother chose to keep my dad at home with her. He had no idea who she was for a couple of years although he trusted her,,,,and in the end, he loved her. I'm not sure if that took more of a toll on her or the all-consuming care-taking. She is my hero. Alzheimer's is a cruel, cruel disease. Yes, levels of understanding and awareness need to be raised, and Yes, we DO demand a cure.
Ed Bryan March 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Please be aware of the training available at Masonicare!! http://patch.com/A-rgwQ Please contact State Rep Chris Lyddy, Christopher.Lyddy@cga.ct.gov and ask him to support current respite care funding! Respite care allows caretakers of family members to get help on occasion, so they may take a vacation or attend to personal needs. The many people who care take for their family members are saving the health care system millions of dollars by keeping them at home! So let's make sure we can continue to enable them to do so!!

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