Monday, April 6, 2015


Alzheimer's is the Same Around the Globe

Today I reviewed the status of my blog site and noted (with great surprise) that in addition to its US audience, the blog has been read in nine other countries.

That reminded me that it doesn’t matter where we live, what religion we are, how much or how little we have, what language we speak or the color of our skin.  Throughout the world, Alzheimer’s is the same monster and we are all just trying to figure out how to deal with it.

You couldn’t write a script with a more compelling storyline of love, laughter, sorrow and loss than the stories being lived right now by Alzheimer’s families around the globe. 

I read recently that worldwide, an estimated 44 million people are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. 

Wow, that's huge.  If that doesn’t make a person think and want to do something about it, then I don’t know what it takes.

Actually, that’s not true.  I do know what it takes.  It takes Alzheimer’s “getting personal”.  Until it got personal, close enough for me to touch, I didn’t think about it either.  

It's not that I didn’t know something about Alzheimer's.  I had two aunts that suffered with the disease, but they both lived far away in other states, and back then it just wasn't something we talked about. So in my busy younger life it wasn’t on my radar.

I’ve chosen to write about our family’s experiences with Alzheimer's (Al) and share them publicly.  It’s my therapy, and I’m hoping that in some small way I can help move the Alzheimer’s conversation forward and make it more personal/relatable to others. 

Generally I approach Al with humor and maybe a little defiance.  That’s just what works for me.  But I know that Alzheimer’s is serious business. It destroys families.

I’ve joined the fight and have become a "Wipeout Alzheimer’s" advocate.  I am fortunate to have many talented women in my life (both family and friends) and I’m asking that you join me in the fight to defeat this beast. Please logon at:

Here is an excerpt from the website:

Every 67 seconds a brain develops Alzheimer's and two thirds of them belong to women. Wipe Out Alzheimer’s is a grassroots, social action campaign to mobilize a movement of women to get educated, get engaged, get empowered and wipe out Alzheimer’s. In partnership with A Woman’s Nation, the Alzheimer’s Association and a global community of empowered women, the challenge will enlist women to take “The Pledge”, help raise funds to research women’s brains and challenge other organizations to make women’s brain research a priority. The challenge was informed and inspired by "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's"

There was a time when Cancer and AIDS were dirty words and not spoken in public.  Not anymore…Let’s do the same thing with Alzheimer’s.

Women have the power to do this.  We can’t wait for this to be someone else’s priority.  If Alzheimer’s hasn’t yet touched you, it will.

I generally tell people to "lighten up" and not take life too seriously.  I still feel that's important.  However, for this I will make an exception.  Let's kick butt.

With hope,

Jane Gayer