Saturday, March 31, dawned heavy and cloudy and by the time I left my gym at 8:30 a.m., it was pouring. But, had the sun not come out on schedule at precisely the moment I was meeting my new advocate (a “comrade in arms” in the fight against Alzheimer’s), his enthusiasm would have made me forget any gloom that may have been in the sky.
I wanted to meet Andrew as I knew he went to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Advocacy Day in Sacramento on March 28 for the first time, so I was interested in his experience. He has a sad story – it’s similar to the millions of people dealing with Alzheimer’s, but as every story in this journey is unique, so is Andrew’s. It represents, first of all, the love he felt for his mother when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and then the reality set in. The emotional toll and financial burden followed. Sound familiar? Continue reading “A first-time advocate’s experience at Advocacy Day” »
It was a soggy morning in Sacramento, but more than 200 dedicated Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocates still showed up in good spirits to the 2012 Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Among them: people with early stage Alzheimer’s, family caregivers, healthcare professionals and other Alzheimer’s champions.
Following a light breakfast and overview of the day, we were welcomed to the Capitol by Senator Tom Berryhill who thanked everyone for their work as volunteers.
“What you’re doing up here today is very important because education of these legislators in that building is so necessary.”
Training for the group continued with an overview of “legislator meeting Dos and Don’ts” by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell.
“We work for you and that can be a one sided relationship unless you make it otherwise and reach out to us on a regular basis,” she said. “That’s your responsibility as Californians. I have a job to do and you have a job to do to make us informed of issues that are important to you.
Continue reading “California Advocacy Day: rainy and inspiring!” »
There have been a couple of recent articles about common vitamins and their effect on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. I thought it was a great opportunity to recap some of these supplements and what we know about them.
There is not much research available on the effects of vitamin C on Alzheimer’s disease. However, the antioxidant’s effect on Alzheimer’s was explored in a study that simultaneously looked at the effects of vitamin E and an antioxidant called coenzyme Q3. In the study, individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were given either a combination of vitamins C and E; coenzyme Q3; or a placebo. Cognitive tests showed no improvement as a result of taking these antioxidants – in fact, in some cases, the antioxidants seemed to actually accelerate cognitive decline. Continue reading “Can vitamins ward off Alzheimer’s?” »
Movie poster from Academy Award winning film "A Separation"
To prove to you how lacking I am in movie trivia, I did not realize that “A Separation” won the Academy Award for best foreign film until I went to see it yesterday. Having read some reviews, I knew a bit of what to expect; in my opinion, the excellent reviews of this Iranian film were all accurate.
While there are many themes coursing through this film – all heady, all intense, many tragic – a not insignificant piece revolves around the father of one of the main characters who has Alzheimer’s. Continue reading “Film accurately portrays Alzheimer’s – but will it inspire advocates or drive them away?” »
Paul and Susan were college sweethearts who had lived many adventures in their 38 years of marriage, including a stint with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and teaching for two years in Norway, where their son James was born. The couple finally chose to settle in Reno, where they spent more than 20 years building their careers, family and community.
“My first recollection that something wasn’t right was when Susan wasn’t able to do simple addition or subtraction when balancing the checkbook,” says Paul. “Things got worse so we took her to a neurologist. He was the first person to bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s.”
Continue reading “Alz Profile: Paul Dugan, Walk Champion and Alzheimer’s Advocate” »