Monday, July 15, 2013
PSST - Alzheimer's & Dementia Have Nothing to Do with Stupidity
I was listening to an internet radio talk show last week and I heard a seemingly intelligent individual say something that stopped me in my tracks. She was promoting an upcoming local arts festival. Right - I can get behind that. She was talking about the importance of getting our children involved in the arts. Right - I can get behind that. She said that research shows that children who participate in the arts do better academically than those who do not. Right - I can believe that. She said that we have become a nation of non-thinkers. Yes - I suppose there is some truth in that. She said the fact that we do not engage our minds is the reason why so many people are developing Alzheimer's. What? Did she really say that? I regret to report that she really said it and apparently she really believes it.
I live across the street from a retired teacher who struggles daily with her progression of Alzheimer's. She was diagnosed while still teaching and forced to retire early. I am reminded of the judge and engineer and musician I know who were also forced to quit working because of the disease. I think about the faces of the residents I see every week who manage to afford costly assisted living and memory care communities that specialize in Alzheimer's and dementia care. I wonder how they managed to acquire the wealth to afford these communities? Were they paid to be non-thinkers? Did they accumulate their wealth while wasting away like couch potatoes? Were they a bunch of mindless, unproductive dead beats whose inactivity caused them to catch Alzheimer's? I think NOT.
Pssst - I feel kind of silly saying this but Alzheimer's and dementia are neurological diseases that have nothing to do with stupidity. Feel free to educate yourselves on the causes, signs and symptoms. Follow the link below and listen to a recent Senior Agenda where a representative from the Alzheimer's Association provides accurate and concise explanations about what we know about the disease thus far.