All we ask is that you listen to DAI board member Jerry Wylie with an open heart and seriously consider donating to DAI to support his goal. Jerry was diagnosed with dementia aged 62, and is asking for your help. He is working really hard to support people with dementia and their care partners to attend the ADI conference in Chicago in July.
Jerry is asking for your financial help. You can read the full notes from his video below.
Hi, my name is Jerry Wylie, and I’m from a small logging town in Philomath, Oregan (USA). My story is just like millions of others. I was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 62. As you probably know, dementia is our 6th leading cause of death in the USA and is number 2 in Australia, and is on a fast track to become number 1 in 30 years.
Every 3 seconds another person is diagnosed with dementia which means this year there will be almost 11 million cases. Currently th elives experience immediately after diagnosis can easily be changed, if they will just listen to us. Here is a couple of my lived experince, and for the record, and for the record, I hear similar stories many times each week.
Minutes after my diagnosis, I asked my neurologist, ‘What can Kathy and I do to help ourselves?‘
His only response was, ‘We’ll put you on a couple of medications that might help the symptoms.‘
He failed to mention that because you were just given a terminal diagnosis you should seek out support, because the rate of suicide is always highest in the first year after diagnosis of any terminal illness.
Sure enough, I fell into very deep one year depression. I became a zombie, I nearly committed suicide and my whole family suffered because of my decline.
And, it would have all been prevented had even one of my doctors handed me a piece of paper referring me to a dementia association and to the support those associations offer.
This travesty is happening every 3 seconds, 11 million times a year, and it needs to change.
Two years I got a new family physican. My wife went in with me to my appointment just as she always does. He started asking questions of me, which is normal, and when I told him I had dementia, he turned his head and continued the conversation with my wife, as if I wasn’t in the room.
In other words, ‘I’m wasting my time talking to you buddy!’
Of course, what my doctor did made me feel completely useless, and is happening every day, and some simple training can prevent that.
You see, some very simple, easy to make changes in our medical treatment could make an enormous difference in our lived experience, and it will reduce the number of suicides attributed to dementia.
That is only a couple of examples of why we need your financial support in getting our voices heard, by helping us to get to Chicago to attend the 33rd International Conference of ADI. It is our best shot.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you Jerry, for sharing your story.