As an elder care advocate, I want to live in a world that never gives up on elderly people who are diagnosed and living with Alzheimer's disease. I also envision living long enough to meet thousands of people who have Alzheimer's and who have proven over and over that they are quite capable of a lifetime of accomplishments -- big and small.
As it is now, I have sat with friends who are caring for family with Alzheimer's when they first heard the news that Mom or Dad (or both elderly parents) was given the diagnoses of Alzheimer's; then watched as they immediately began the emotional, knee-jerk downward-spiral of despair. It's one of the saddest experiences I have ever witnessed. The fear in their eyes and hearts is devastating, and they feel there's no hope in sight.
To change the world's view of people with Alzheimer's and being a proactive elder care consultant by nature, I'd like to address the professionals in the elder care research industry, and request that studies are conducted to measure the positive outcomes of people with Alzheimer's. In addition to studying the various stages of the disease, why not take us down another road and look into what happens when Alzheimer's patients are introduced to successful-aging initiatives like Masterpiece Living which is based on the ground-breaking MacArthur Foundation Study on Aging? In a nutshell, this ground-breaking study proved that seventy percent of how people age is based on lifestyle choices no matter what ails them.
With the MacArthur study in mind, I'd like to know how the lives of Alzheimer's patients improve after being introduced to daily doses of the four lifestyle characteristics of successful aging - physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual. How different our caregiver expectations would be if elder care research professionals finally give equal time to the study of positive outcomes for elderly parents and other loved ones who have Alzheimer's. That's all I ask.
Secondly, if you are a member of the media might you be curious enough to report an Alzheimer success story now and then? Would knowing that successfully aging Alzheimer patients exist today interest you? Might this be the topic of your next article? Might you be inclined to report the other side to the Alzheimer story? I hope this would be the case.
For anyone who is interested in investigating successfully aging Alzheimer's people in action, I'm delighted to tell you there's a senior-housing Masterpiece Living community in Fresno, California, where staffers Steve Case and Becca Williams have much to share about the successes of the residents of The Grove at San Joaquin Gardens. It's a sight to behold.
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