Monday, March 14, 2011

8 Myths about Alzheimer’s Disease


By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

There was a great article by Marguerite Manteau-Rao in the Huffington Post about 8 Common Myths about people with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are her best suggestions for responses to those myths:


1. The fact that the person doesn’t speak does not mean that she doesn’t hear or understand.

2. Not recalling facts does not mean that the heart does not know or does not remember.

3. The loss of abilities, no matter how severe, does not mean that all abilities are lost.

4. What appears as nonsensical behavior actually makes a lot of sense from the person’s perspective.

5. The person is not a child or a baby, although some of her behaviors may cause us to treat her that way.

6. It is not all downhill from here, at least not always.

7. The fact that the person struggles with initiating tasks does not mean that she is incapable of making any decisions.

8. Asking what to do with the person can be the wrong question.


I particularly like the information provided about myth number 8:

“We are part of a doing culture. Sometimes, all that is required of us is to simply be with a person – as in sharing moments sitting, walking, listening to music, watching a sunset or gently touching the person’s hand – after we have asked for her permission."

To read the article go here




Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room