Jun 012012
 
Val's Story: A Care Partner's Perspective on Her Husband's Younger-Onset Diagnosis

I’m Valerie Ferrero, wife, mother and care partner. My husband Lee was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s)  in November 2008. This is the beginning of my story….. It is difficult to know what action to take, what plans to make, or what the future holds when you don’t have the answer to the “elephant in the room.” It took more than seven years for us to get Lee’s diagnosis of younger-onset [...]

Apr 062012
 
A Night to Remember: Alzheimer's Takes Center Stage at A Night at Sardi's

Last month, close to 1,000 Hollywood luminaries came together to raise fun and funds for Alzheimer’s at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual A Night At Sardi’s.  During the last 20 years, A Night At Sardi’s has generated more than $20 million to support important research, develop programs to support family caregivers, and create campaigns to bring awareness to this disease. This year, I was on the “purple carpet” in Beverly Hills to interview celebrities attending the [...]

Mar 292012
 
Scott Kirschenbaum on Making a Film in an Alzheimer’s Unit

In the fall of 2008, I wrote a screenplay I intended to film entirely in an Alzheimer’s Unit.  After many weeks of rehearsals, I arrived at a troubling realization: I was not just making a challenging film—I was making the wrong film. Writing a fictional Alzheimer’s narrative—creating a neat and orderly plot whose course I could control, from a disease by nature chaotic and nonlinear—was impossible.  In the way that a son or daughter doesn’t [...]

Mar 272012
 
Joey McIntyre's Story: My Mom May Not Know Who I Am...

But she does a pretty good job of making me feel like she does. I believe she knows there is a connection. She keeps it very simple when she talks to me. Partly I think because she knows that she can’t quite remember but is still witty enough to know that she doesn’t want to make it any more confusing than it already is for her. I think she is past the most scary part— [...]

Mar 092012
 
Caregiver Facts and Figures: A Bittersweet Reality

This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Almost eight years at the Alzheimer’s Association — five at the Utah Chapter and close to three at the National Office right here in Chicago — left equally enduring imprints on my mind and heart. The mental imprint is analytical, bridging science and people in the shape of a fervent belief [...]

Feb 242012
 
Caregivers Take Note – Music as Therapy

When Glen Campbell took the stage at the Grammy Awards and accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award, he did so as one of the more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  What is inspiring about the 75-year-old Campbell’s Grammy night appearance is that he has not retired from his love of making music despite his recent diagnosis.  In fact, he is starting his Farewell Tour and is cutting a new album. Is music one [...]

Feb 032012
 
The Love Story of a Football Wife Who Tackled Dementia

As millions tune in to the Super Bowl this Sunday, I am cheering for one football wife who tackled her husband’s dementia with a game plan to keep their lives as normal as possible and in the process found her calling as a caregiving advocate. Her passionate plea to the NFL, one of the most powerful organizations in sports, resulted in the “88 Plan,” a break-through long-term care plan that gives security and support to [...]

Jan 132012
 
How to Keep the Promise We Make To Ourselves This Year

Answer: One Resolution for Caregivers –52 Chances to Make It Work Ahh the New Year is here – the hectic pace of the holidays is over, the frenzy over buying gifts and seeing  friends and family is done (at least for another 12 months).  You can finally breathe.  That is, unless you are one of the 65 million Americans who are caring for a loved one – that moment to put the world on “pause” [...]

Dec 232011
 
The Gift of Perspective

There are some topics on our message boards that pop up to surprise us, while others follow a pretty predictable cycle. Every year, around the holidays, calls to our helpline and posts on our message boards indicate many family members notice the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or advancing dementia. This is especially true of out-of-town family members who don’t see the person with dementia every day; they compare behaviors to previous times — [...]

Oct 312011
 
Facing Early-Onset Alzheimer's with Family, Humor & Love

November is National Family Caregiver Month, and I wanted to share some personal thoughts on the subject of caregivers.   I was a caregiver for my father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s 15 years ago, and I was diagnosed with the disease two-and -a-half years ago. The past. It has been almost 25 years since my father started to exhibit the signs of dementia.  Back in those days, Alzheimer’s was not well- known by doctors [...]

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