Dr. Richard Taylor is one of the world’s foremost experts on Alzheimer’s disease. Why? Because he has lived with it for years.
Here is a comment he forwarded to me today:
Oh woe is me. Oh woe are 9,999,999 kindred spirits. Woe is the life of tens of millions of caregivers and those who know someone living with the symptoms of dementia. Oh woe is our plight, oh woe is our Nation. Like our pioneer ancestors we are all responsible for taking care of ourselves. We are each responsible for living purposeful, productive, loving lives. And for those with disabilities not of their own causing? “light at the end of the tunnel, great progress, breakthroughs?” I sadly think not.
When will we each and all stand up and speak out. Enough of this hoping/exaggerating/wishing/pretending. Let’s put most of our research money where the real problems are – living with the symptoms of dementia and caring for folks living with the symptoms of dementia. For every one’s sake, stand up and speak out. Vote with your donations, your political support, your discussions around the ipods/watercoolers/skype video calls/under the tables texting at work/in your church and community.
We don’t have the luxury of waiting for physicians to be retrained, assisted living communities to grow up, nursing homes to realize more than that their residents are there because it’s the only place Medicare pays the bill for room and board for people with dementia. We can no longer hope/pray/expect that the experts and current organizations and leaders will get “it.” At least they won’t get “it” in yours or my lifetime, and there are no current signs they will get “it” in the lifetimes of your children or grandchildren. Stand Up. Speak Out.
Dr. Taylor’s daughter blogs at The Tangled Neuron.