We continue our #RememberMe daily blog series for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016 #WAM2016 #DAM206 with a story about one of our members Sandy Halperin from the USA.
Sandy has been a fervent advocate, and continues to work to change the myths, stereotypes, stigma and fear surrounding dementia. Thanks Sandy, for all you have done since being diagnosed with dementia, and all that you continue to do.
In a story published on CNN.com, which you can read in full here, it says:
“Losing the ability to think and recall — what could be defined as the very essence of being human — is almost universally terrifying. So terrifying that many people dwell for years in a state of denial. In fact, according to a survey by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis stirs more fear than any other major life-threatening disease — even cancer or stroke.
Denial, it would seem, shrouds the mind from dementia’s more appalling images: patients shuffling aimlessly around a nursing home in wheelchairs, despondent. Or the converse image of the agitated patient thrashing wildly with no concept of where — or even who — they are.
Sandy bristles at those images of Alzheimer’s. While they may capture what the disease looks like during later stages, he says they ignore what could be many productive years during the early and middle stages.
In those years, he says, it is possible to live vitally, despite deficits. He believes he is doing just that.
As best as he can, Sandy remains active and social — dining with other residents at his retirement village and taking twilight walks and pre-dawn swims to try and delay, at least for a while, the symptoms of his disease.”
Watch this video, “Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Sandy’s Story, Part 1” of a series worth watching. Thanks for all you continue to do Sandy.