Re: "Sharing the story of Alzheimer's," Friday, Jan. 25.
Thank you for publishing the article on Alzheimer's and the interview with a family member.
It is important to share stories in order to raise awareness and to break down the barriers of social stigma which still surround this disease. However, Alzheimer's is so much more than repeating conversations and general forgetfulness. Alzheimer's can mean not being able to coordinate getting socks and shoes on both feet. Alzheimer's may be randomly wandering away from home and having no idea how to get back.
The disease may result in an individual needing to be watched 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. Alzheimer's can rob a person of the ability to speak. It can involve a lack of understanding of time and not knowing the difference between day and night.
As it progresses, Alzheimer's often means being unable to take care of one's basic personal needs, and experiencing paranoia and mood swings. This is the reality of the disease, which patients, families and caregivers face on a daily basis, and this is the disease for which we must find effective treatment and, ultimately, a cure.
K. Blimkie Coquitlam