Call to Action: Global Alzheimer’s Resolution

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As the third most deadly disease in the U.S., Alzheimer’s is taking a huge toll on us. But it is not just a U.S. crisis, it’s a global crisis. And only by working together can we find a treatment or a cure.

Reps. Smith, Fattah, Waters, Burgess and Meadows have come together to propose the Global Alzheimer’s resolution, which would create a much-needed global action plan and fund for fighting Alzheimer’s.

Take action TODAY and tell your representatives to co-sponsor this critical legislation, H. Res. 489 – there’s no time to waste. It’ll take no more than a few minutes of your time, and your voice could make all the difference in the world.

Click here -> http://actions.usagainstalzheimers.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13792

And, please share with your friends and family.

Alzheimer’s: Accepting a New Reality

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I read a lot about Alzheimer’s and dementia. A lot. Still, every now and then I come across something that grabs hold of me and won’t let go, because it reads exactly – and I mean exactly – like my own experience. Despite the fact that I tell people all the time, “we’re in this together” and “what you’re feeling is normal,” I sometimes forget those things apply to me, too!

Tonight, I read one of the most poignant essays I’ve ever seen discussing a topic that’s very close to my heart. In fact, it’s the subject of my contribution (Learning Acceptance) to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living With Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.

In his piece for Maria Shriver’s blog, Dr. Daniel C. Potts writes about reaching a point of acceptance – realizing that your loved one as you once knew them is gone, but their core remains very much intact. Always. Even dementia can’t strip them of their essence. It simply cannot. 

The key, then, is accepting the person they are now.

“Because you are not what I would have you be,
I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.”
– Madeleine L’ Engle

And this is my story. I was full of denial, anger, and sadness for such a long time. I wish I’d arrived at “Mom-for-me is gone but Mom is still here” much, much sooner than I did, because once that happened, everything changed. Our relationship blossomed again; I had an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for her. It sounds so cliché, but it was truly a beautiful time. I just hope she felt it as strongly as I did.

This will all make more sense after you read Dr. Potts’ essay, Letting Go: A Lesson on Love.

I can’t help but wonder if I’d read this years ago, would it have hastened the process of letting go? In honesty, probably not. I think it would have given me a lot to think about, but I believe each of us has to reach own conclusion in due time. I think our hearts arrive at that place when they’re ready and not a minute sooner. Still, it’s difficult not to have some regrets.

I’m very grateful to Dr. Potts for putting his perfect words around an experience that is nearly impossible to describe. Tonight, on the 16-month anniversary of my mom’s passing, I feel a sense of comfort in knowing I’m not alone on this journey…

…What Life Throws At Us…

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I’d like to thank my friends at The Ostrich Group way over yonder, across the pond, for having me as a guest on their blog this week. This piece looks at what happens when life doesn’t unfold quite the way we planned. As they say, sometimes bad things happen to good people… so, what then?

Every day, good people find themselves in various situations that they didn’t ask for and certainly don’t want. However, it’s how we handle those situations that makes all the difference in the world. I hope you’ll enjoy Twists, Turns, and Transformations.

 

The Numbers Tell the Story

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Thank you to our friends at Alzheimers.net for sharing this infographic that so simply, yet powerfully, illustrates the inequitable distribution of research funding. Consider the fact that our government is spending over $200 billion annually on care for Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia, while the funds allocated for research equate to less than 1% of that number.

Bear in mind also that the recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology estimates total annual deaths resulting from Alzheimer’s and other dementias are likely over 500,000, which puts it right behind heart disease and cancer as the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.