Two articles on Alzheimer’s Reading Room ran the last couple of days deserve your reading. To me they talk to each other and to all of us in the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Circle.
1. My Buddy Max Wallack, Puzzles to Remember
2. Having Greater Purpose In Life Associated With A Reduced Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease
(Click on these articles in hypertext to go to them on my Archive or click on the hypertext’d Reading Room above and find them there along with a lot of other good comments).
The first article speaks a common theme seen on my blog; it speaks of puzzles, stimulating the brain. It speaks about a young man seeing this and doing something about it as he cares for his “Great Grammy” who has Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
I quote the following paragraphs from the article. It tells what the rest of the article is about:
Max learned that puzzles and similar artistic activities can slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Some research indicates that such activities can be as effective as medication in helping this patient population.
Other people are starting to understand that art improves the life of persons suffering from Alzheimer's. Max understood this from his observations. I call this Bunk House Logic. Max is a real cowboy. When Max goes into his bunk house look out world.
I find the bottom line is here. We can spend all of our time raising money so the drug companies can find a cure, the search for which they have spent untold amount of money with no great success these past 20 years.
We can put half of that effort in finding economical ways of caring for people with AD. I wonder what break through would occur and improvement in quality of life would be obtained.
Max Wallack, a thirteen year old kid is having great success doing this. The results have such an impact. Without these kind of innovations in treatment we in AD would be consigned to that lonely limbo ours that we live between the doctor telling us take this and come back in a year, we do, he says the same thing again. As this keeps occurring we crawl further back into the back closet and do our best to close our systems down.
More Max’s out there might result in out having a better quality of life, stem our decline, and keep us off the institutional cost rolls longer
The second article states:
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most dreaded consequences of aging, and the identification of modifiable factors associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease is a top public health priority for the 21st century, particularly given the large and rapidly increasing aging population
It goes on to say:
…greater purpose in life was associated with a substantially reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, as well as a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment and a slower rate of cognitive decline.
It speaks of the need to have purpose in life even in the face of AD you may not
feel it. The first sense after diagnoses is: “They pulled the plug, it is all over, might just as well sit around until I’m standing in the corner drooling, talking to my self and wondering were the hell I am!
That is a choice many of us make and there is little good reason not to. We get named, then stereotyped, then shunned. In varying degrees family, friends, and community step back and start a program of overlook. They don’t know what to do with us, what this disease is really, so they do nothing; they just step away, all of a sudden they are gone!
There is life after AD and we need help in finding it. All the effort now is to get medication which will help others not get what we got. But guys, we got it and we need help!
Having purpose is one of the top reasons to maintain cognizance and quality of life to go with that. This can be secured by programs that stimulate, that bring people together, that recognizes the new paradigm we find ourselves is and help us make the best of things in it.
I found purpose turning it over and deciding I am going to write about AD until people get tired of reading me. Well, folks keep reading, their number keeps growing and comments left are wonderful in their accolades.
Able to share what it is like, and just maybe, help someone else, that is what makes having this rotten disease worthwhile.
We need the common effort to open the door I found to open to allow others in to find the benefits of putting their disease to purpose for their benefit.