Living a full life, despite Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s – it’s an incurable disease.  It takes the mind of an individual and leaves them at a disadvantage physically and mentally.  It is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.  According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation for Caregiving in Canada(AFCC), Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, nor is it a disease of old age.  In fact, up to five per cent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

The AFCC describes Alzheimer’s disease, on their website, to be “a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.” Although there is no current cure for this disease, a number of treatments are available.  One of which, is the determination to stay active in order to prevent the onset of dementia symptoms and improve an individual’s quality of life.
An article posted by healthzone.cafocuses on the lives of Bill Heibein, Susan Parrish, and Mary McKinlay; each who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Their life stories of how they decided to tackle the disease’s challenges are inspiring and uplifting, instilling hope that life can go beyond what doctors tell you.  Staying active was a large part of how these three individuals chose to delay the onset of this disease by farming, swimming, staying active within the community and educating themselves on the affects and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  They chose to overcome the overwhelming consensus that they had a disease that was uncontrollable, so they did what they once saw as the impossible – they stayed active.
In the words of Mr. Heibein, “If there’s something you want to do, by George, you go out and do it!”
To read their stories, click this article.
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One thought on “Living a full life, despite Alzheimer’s

  1. I love this video clip. It is such a positive and refreshing spin on a disease that these people understand there is no cure for. Acceptance and adaptation- they key to being happy when there are unexpected changes in your life.

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