Last night, the Larry King Alzheimer's television special, Unthinkable the Alzheimer’s Epidemic, aired for the first time. The feeling, understanding, and passion of the guests jumped right into my living room...By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
I admit, when I saw the line up of guests for the show I thought "here we go again", some more empty bullets. The dreaded, lets raise the awareness of Alzheimer's, raise some dough, and forget about everyone in the front row,and the often forgotten Alzheimer's caregiver.
Not this time around. Sure the guests were mostly celebrities, but most of them had something important to say -- all based on real life experience with Alzheimer's disease.
I would have liked to hear more from Lauren Miller and Seth Rogen.
When Larry asked Lauren Miller if she was angry about Alzheimer's, and she answered very, I was ready to hide under my chair. Yes Lauren is angry, angry that Alzheimer's disease is not getting greater attention, and that not enough information is being given to young people. Here, Here.
I believe Seth Rogen might become one of the most important voices in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. He didn't disappoint.
"Alzheimer's is brutal".
Rogen went on to say that he believes young people would feel better if young people heard about the disease from other young people. I think he was trying to convey, you are not alone, its not just you. Go here to see part of the Rogen, Miller interview.
I would like to clear up one issue for Lauren and Seth. They said that not many young people have to deal with the disease. This is incorrect and far from the truth.
Everyday, hundreds of thousands of young people come home from school or work, including high school students, and assume the role of Alzheimer's caregiver while the primary caregiver goes to work. This is the reality of Alzheimer's disease. Eighty percent of the persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease are cared for at home.
Our own Max Wallack helped care for his grandmother, Gertrude, as a very young boy.
I always feel uplifted when I hear Maria Shriver.
Not only does it blow the mind of the person who gets it, but it blows the mind of every person that loves that person.
Larry seem to think and believe that Alzheimer's is "the long goodbye". Shriver set Larry straight on this issue when she told him its, the "new hello". Wonderful attitude.
Angie Dickinson said, "love them with your arms, and your company, and your touch, and whatever pleasure might still be there for them, and don't ever let up. Wonderful advice. She also had a one word comment that made me laugh. Watch and listen to Angie here. You'll have to watch the special when it rebroadcasts to catch the one word answer.
I thought the Laura Bush segment was honest and moving. She has a wonderful positive attitude. She encouraged Alzheimer's caregivers to get help, and said she wished she had done more. I think she could accomplish a great deal by encouraging family members, relatives and friends to do more. To get directly involved.
Leeza Gibbons talked about Leeza's place. She described it a a place for "people" who care for a loved one who has an illness or chronic disease. The services are free. This is a place for Alzheimer's caregivers. Wonderful.
The segment on the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health was fantastic. As was the interview with Larry Ruvo. Larry gets it. Larry mentions the same problem that most Alzheimer's caregivers face -- lack of available information when Alzheimer's strikes.
The segment, Twins Care for Parents, was a real life glimpse into Alzheimer's caregiving. This more or less says it in a nutshell, "we have no life. See the twins here (look down the page for the video). I should add, if I had a twin I would be having an even better life.
The section with Dr. Ronald Petersen, Director, the Mayo Clinic, was excellent and informative.
Two additional items. Larry King took a test for Alzheimer's disease, a brain scan, and his brain is in good shape at this time. Congratulations.
Ron Reagan, on the other hand. decided not to taking the test. His reason? You can't do anything so he would rather not know. Shame on Ron for perpetrating this ugly myth.
Both Shriver and and Reagan used the term "caretaker." This must be a California term.
My name is Bob DeMarco. I am an Alzheimer's caregiver.
The special, Unthinkable the Alzheimer’s Epidemic, airs again on May 7. I'll keep you posted.
You can read commemnts on the special from readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room under this article -- Unthinkable the Alzheimer’s Epidemic -- Comment and Opine Here -- Larry King Alzheimer's Special.
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Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,680 articles with more than 512,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room