I think it strange and disheartening that as a society, once a friend or a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the overwhelming reaction is to feel primary sympathy for the spouse and family, rather than for those struck down. It seems that after the initial blow has been absorbed, we are very quick to diminish, and then sever, emotional connections with those losing their short term memory. For many of us, half a man, is no man at all.
Celebrating Alzheimer’s Awareness Day on September 21 is a bit like our confrontation of global warming or the global population explosion; we understand the causes, but as a society, we have no idea how to respond. For Baby Boomers this is just the latest, and probably the last, great social upheaval we are to live thru: civil rights, the sexual revolution, Reaganomics and the internet. And now Alzheimer’s, the least silent killer we all live with but never discuss and choose to suffer thru in silence as our prayers remain unanswered. For according to the Alzheimer Association there is no cure or meaningful slowing of the disease process.