Living with Alzheimer's Disease ~ Domenico Pratico, MD, Temple University, Alzheimer's Center
Alzheimer's disease has long been seen as a misunderstood and underappreciated illness. Despite its widespread incidence and destructive impact on individuals and families, it was frequently regarded as a normal aspect of aging, something that people simply had to accept and manage with as best they could. However, there has been a rising acknowledgment in recent years of the urgent need to increase our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and to identify new approaches to support those living with the disease.
We are already witnessing a shift in global activism and common thinking about Alzheimer's disease. Rather than remaining on the periphery, this condition is finally emerging from the shadows and assuming its appropriate place as a major health concern requiring considerable attention and resources. The concept of "living with Alzheimer's disease" - the idea that we can make life better for those affected by the condition by taking a more compassionate and proactive approach to care and support - is at the heart of this shift.
So, what does it mean to have Alzheimer's disease, and how can we aid those who are suffering from it? First and foremost, it is critical to recognize that a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease is still a person - an individual with their own set of requirements, preferences, and personality. They are more than just a patient or a number on a chart; they are human beings who deserve dignity, respect, and compassion.
To effectively support someone living with Alzheimer's disease, we must also be willing to learn about the disease, its symptoms, and its consequences. This may entail obtaining resources and information from reputable organizations and medical professionals, as well as learning from the experiences of others who have been personally touched by the condition. We can become better equipped to provide meaningful assistance and care if we grasp the challenges and complexities of Alzheimer's disease.
Of course, living with Alzheimer's disease is difficult, whether for the person with the disease, their carers, or their loved ones. However, by embracing the concept of "living with" rather than "coping with" Alzheimer's disease, we can change our focus away from resignation and despair and towards proactive and compassionate care. It is possible to live well with Alzheimer's disease and ensure that individuals with the condition can continue to lead satisfying and meaningful lives with the correct resources, support, and mindset.
If you are someone who cares about Alzheimer's disease, we encourage you to contact us and learn how you can help us or contribute to the cause. We can make a difference in the lives of individuals afflicted by this illness by working together to create a brighter, more compassionate future for all.
Domenico Praticò, MD, is the Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation Chair for Alzheimer’s Research, Professor and Director of the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple, and Professor of Pharmacology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University