An Alzheimer’s Anthem: Remember Me

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#remembermeWhile there are plenty of things that stir my emotions, music can really send me into a tailspin. I still haven’t listened to the Glen Campbell song, I’ll Be Me. One day I will, but I’m not ready yet.

Over the past day or so, I’ve seen a couple of Facebook posts regarding a new song and video by Chris Mann, a 2012 finalist on The Voice.

Remember Me is the result of a collaboration between Mann and a rather unlikely suspect, world-renowned Alzheimer’s researcher, neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi.

A recent Rolling Stone article describes how the two met and what inspired the partnership. (Call me crazy, but I feel as though this could be a game changer with regard to bringing Alzheimer’s out of the shadows! Who could have imagined uttering the words “Rolling Stone” and “Alzheimer’s” in the same sentence?)

Tonight as I was driving home, I shook off my apprehension and clicked the play button to listen to this remarkably powerful song for the first time. Within seconds, I found myself sobbing – it’s difficult to describe the raw emotion I felt as the beautiful lyrics cut into my heart. A rush of piercing grief, intense regret, and tremendous loss washed over me – body and soul. It took my breath away in every sense of the word. I couldn’t help but imagine my mom…

I know there’ll come a day, when I have gone away / And the memory of me will fade / But darling think of me, and who I use to be / And I’ll be right there with you again / I hope I’m one thing worth not forgetting / Tell me that you’ll never let me go

You can watch the poignant Remember Me video below, but please click over to iTunes and buy the single, then encourage your friends to do the same. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.*

 

Join the #RememberMe movement. Learn more -> here

*Since its inception in 2004, the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) has contributed $27.4 million to research. The founders cover all overhead expenses, and 100% of donations go directly to research. Dr. Rudy Tanzi is a key member of the organization’s research consortium.

What if…

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I try very hard not to let myself go there… to the land of “what ifs.”

Just like the proverbial “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” that line of thinking is terribly counterproductive. Life is what it is; it unfolds the way it’s meant to unfold even if it doesn’t align with our expectations.

I try not to go there, because nothing positive can come of it.

However, sometimes when I’m not watching, “what if” reaches out from the dark of the night and grabs me with its razor-sharp claws. This selfish, cruel character has no regard for my well-being. Try as I might, I can’t escape the monster’s clutches.

I melt into it…

What if after having “one of those days,” I could stop at Mom’s house? What if we could sit and talk for a bit? She would share some pearls of wisdom, a plate of leftovers, and a healthy dose of humor. She’d top it off with a giant mom-hug and all would be right with the world again.

Oh the things we take for granted.

What if?

What if?

What if?

What if Alzheimer’s hadn’t taken her so early?

What if life was fair?

What if bad things didn’t happen to good people?

And then just as abruptly as it appeared, “what if” fades back into the shadows leaving me with an aching heart and a tear-stained face.

For now, I’m me again, keeping the “what ifs” at bay… until next time.

 

 

Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: 2015 Dementia Dialogues Webinar Series

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Here are some amazing 2015 online education opportunities, straight from The Banner Institute.

Scheduled each third Wednesday, Dementia Dialogues offers a different, pertinent webinar topic each month. For those who are not comfortable with the Internet or who don’t have access, an exclusively audio version is offered as well.

The January webinar will take place this coming Wednesday, Jan 21. Click here to learn more and register!

January 21 – Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Dementia but were Afraid to Ask:  There is a lot of conflicting information, misinformation and unanswered questions surrounding Alzheimer’s and dementia. Join us to gain some clarity with dementia as our experts discuss some questions commonly posed to them. Come prepared to ask your unanswered questions.

February 18 –  Lack of Insight into Dementia:  “My person is in denial about their illness” is a phrase heard all too often in the dementia world. However, some people with this disease are simply unable to see changes within themselves – they have lack of insight. During this Dialogue, you will learn the difference between denial and lack of insight, and will receive strategies to avoid confrontation with a person who cannot accept cognitive losses.

March 18 – Planning for Care across the Stages of Dementia:  Dementia is a disease that requires planning – constantly. Each stage brings unique challenges and needs and by being pro-active rather than reactive, caregivers can help lighten their load and have the confidence they are making decisions as their person would wish. Learn about specific plans that should be made during the various stages of dementia.

April 15 – Alzheimer’s Medications:  Observing benefit of the approved medications for the treatment Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to see as they don’t modify the course of the disease but can assist in managing symptoms.  Join this Dialogue to learn about medications, reasonable expectations for use, potential side effects and tips for common issues.

May 20 – Planning Successful Travel:  Travel is a joy that many people share throughout their lives. When someone develops dementia, many strategies for daily life can be disrupted by leaving home. While it may require extra thought, travel can still be enjoyable for someone with dementia. Just in time for summer travel, learn tactics to make your trips as successful as possible.

June 17 – Men as Caregivers:  Many men are finding themselves caring for their wife or mother with dementia. It turns out that some stereotypical male qualities can come in quite handy for caregivers of someone with dementia. Join this frank discussion to learn strategies from some successful male caregivers.

And coming during the second half of 2015: 

July 15 – Understanding Psychosis

August 19 – Maintaining Realistic Expectations as Dementia Progresses

September 16 – Best Lessons from Powerful Tools for Caregiving

October 21 – How and When to Execute Powers of Attorney

November 18 – Preparing for the Holidays

December 16 – The Gift of Presence

 

Demand Action Now: Help End Alzheimer’s

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Please take a couple of minutes to lend your support; USAgainstAlzheimer’s makes it easy! Visit http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=J6sJlT6rpSFpIBC3FnFwnzRTy45204Z7

*** From the Desk of George Vradenburg ***

In just five days, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address. Washington and the nation will pause to hear the president’s vision, and we need him to publicly commit to stopping Alzheimer’s. The nation already has adopted a national plan that sets as goal one preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. But this is now just 10 years away and much work remains.

President Obama could issue a “moon shot” for ending Alzheimer’s, like John F. Kennedy did for a moon landing in 1961. But it won’t happen absent a relentless push by those impacted by this dreaded disease.

Help us plant a flag for ending Alzheimer’s by adding your voice now. Join with our USAgainstAlzheimer’s networks and thousands of activists nationwide to encourage the president to address Alzheimer’s during his speech.

Click here to take a moment to ask President Obama to set a marker for ending Alzheimer’s in his State of the Union on Tuesday.

The annual global cost of treating Alzheimer’s in 2010 was an estimated $604 billion –one percent of global GDP. Without new treatments, the number of Alzheimer’s cases and its associated costs are predicted to quadruple in the next 40 years.

That’s not even mentioning the personal toll it takes on families. More than 5 million Americans suffer from this cruel, unforgiving disease, and their loved ones suffer along with them.

We can’t wait for action. If we are going to stop this terrifying trajectory, we need to get bold. We need leadership.

President Obama has a chance to cast a vision for ending Alzheimer’s during his speech. We need to let him know how important it is that he does.

Add your name: Call on President Obama to address the threat of Alzheimer’s in his State of the Union address.

There’s a path to a cure, but it demands commitment from everyone. If we get it, we’ll beat this disease.

Thank you,

George