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This article speaks loudly for a need not being met. The need? The plight of those of us with Alzheimer's Disease (AD)particularly those of us in the Early Stage whose quality of life could be enhanced which would in turn produce a huge savings for the community. So much is concentrated on raising money for the cure so little for treating those already with that which is sought to be cured. This article speaks of one of far too few who would redirect the effort in the field of AD and address a real problem lost in the dust by the "Race for the Cure" Nice reporting Tangled Neuron, nice work Ken Kosik. You are on the money!
Tragic Beyond Reckoning! Can this really be true? Can people in a community be so small minded and ignorant? Hey, guess so, even here in River City, as well as everywhere U.S.A.! (Woodbury is a suburb of the Twin Cities where I live) This is a fact that underscores the need to educate, to inform, to let people know the reality of having Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It is not so bad in the earlier stages, worse than bad in the later stages. I learned early with early stage that it is a lot more tolerable than worrying about getting it. It gives the opportunity to do something about it which comes down to doing something with it. It is an overwhelming paradigm shift in one’s life and the lives of family and loved ones of the AD patient. It is different, far different from what was. It needs acceptance, acceptance by the patient, those around the patient and more importantly the community at large. The community attitude as reported in the article is one of the greatest detractions of truth about AD. There is no danger in exposure of any one to those with AD. We are by and large a lonely, benign group craving understanding and company. To see us as community pariah’s is inexcusable. Any so called aggressive patients are in locked supervised wards, if in fact a “Home” takes them. Treatment of difficult patients is a specialized service involving specialized care not offered by most “Homes” dealing with AD patients. They are structured for the protection of the patient not that of the community around them. The bulk of us are a pretty decent lot! I attend a group activity twice a month conducted by a Church group (Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Hopkins MN) for Early Stage AD Afflicted. Part of the program is a visit by a group of pre-schoolers who meet in the same Church facilities. This is a high point for us. Thank God for the fortitude of the Church and the folks operating both programs. The saddest part of this story coming out of Woodbury is the want of compassion in the community in opposition to the facility. Their lack of any basic human concept of empathy is missing in action, gone MIA! This void outshines the ignorance and crudeness demonstrated by them. Although the crudeness is not something new in our culture, one need only look at the process of political opposition to know its breadth. It still does not answer, “When will we ever learn?” In advocating of AD community support I stress the savings to us individually and as a society at large. I propose programs to serve folks in Early Stage designed to assist them and prolong them in Early Stage and out of the “Home”. I also urge the formation of more programs for do it ourselves projects to provide for the needs of those AD Affected. I do this to make my position more publicly palatable and not just another voice crying “Gimmee.” It really goes deeper than this. Our lives have an overriding tension constantly tugging at us. Choices! Yea or Nay, to be decided each step of the way. Do we choose for our own personal purposes or do our choices reflect more altruism for our fellow man. I have been recently intrigued by the growing attitude among young people to help one another as compete with one another. This flashes in the face of the philosophical framework of writers of the Enlightenment who promoted the Survival of the Fittest as the way to survive and improve as a culture which has been a controlling outlook in our western culture ever since. It is this attitude that has now culminated centuries later in the mess we live in now. Every one is out for themselves, no holds barred. This has gotten us wars, mini-depression, congressional stalemate and neighborhood isolation to name but a few. Enough is enough! We need to re-educate as suffer more Woodbury Minnesota attitudes. We need to know publicly that AD is not this kind of a stereotype drawn by those in opposition to the building a home in a residential community. Instead of demonstrating “Attitude” they should be asking, what can we do to make it beneficial to our children and our neighborhood? Mike Donohue
This result comes as no surprise. The overall reason in my view is this: Attempting to prescribe uniformly for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) when the last thing it is can be called uniform in its manifestation in the persons having it. There are as many kinds of AD as there are people who have it. Each person having it is in a different stage of it from day to day, different from all others bearing a similar diagnosis. Uniformity is the giant fault of our modern data dependent culture that needs to classify before it can concern itself with anything. I call this sin “Homogenization!” Like the inverse of Murphy’s law we homogenize all or our programs into their lowest denominator of ineffectiveness. Treatment of AD, particularly in the Early Stage of it, when a person can be kept there longer by it, needs to be measured by the positive response of the person getting it. Does the patient respond, does it help, does it improve. What works is what should by utilized. Reducing treatment to a data friendly consistent formula decreases its possibility of being effective. Perhaps in the classification process while decentralizing treatment modality we ought to centralize diagnostic criteria broadening the class of finding of symptoms so more fits into the ambit of AD, forcing treatment to recognize difference by reason of its generality.
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Jul 9, 2010