As a healthcare professional, I often focus on what my clients need rather than my own personal battles. I'm breaking that trend today to honor my Grandmother's battle with dementia & to bring light to the emotional scars that this disease leaves on families like ours. The physical decline of the body is almost expected with advanced age, but mental decline is an absolute thief.
Memories matter; they're magical transports to another time & place that should be the right of every aging adult who finds themselves in a body that no longer moves the way it used to. Memories bridge generations. They are the basis for passing on oral tradition & for assuring that stories are passed down through families. Memories carry deep emotion & allow for families to laugh, cry, & even cringe at past experiences to deepen bonds and to share valuable (and sometimes surprising) hindsight. They're special glimpses into the depths of personality that we may never have seen in our loved ones. Every single memory is a gift - a gift of experience & wisdom from one generation to the next.
Today, on World Alzheimer's Day, I ask that you imagine a world without memory. Consider these implications for yourself, your family, your children, & our social networks as a whole. It's a bleak reality that an estimated 6.2 million Americans over the age of 65 are dealing with every day. Consider for a minute how that number expands as we consider all of the families that are silently acting as caregivers & mourning the loss of valuable family memories.
In a couple of weeks, I have the honor of bringing my children to visit our family, including my Grandmother (who they've known for all their lives). We will participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's organized by her memory care facility. We will also brace against the cruelty of dementia & the vast emptiness it leaves in the space where those generations should be bridged. Memories matter - in the end they're all we have unless they're stripped from us by this vicious disease.
Families facing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia need us now more than ever — and with your help, we can be there for them. Please make a donation or register as a participant and start your own fundraising. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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