-------- WISER NOW -------------------- BRAIN AEROBICS -------------------- WISER NOW ALZHEIMERS

Monday, May 12, 2008

A chance to talk...

At a conference in New Orleans last week, I had the great privilege of moderating a panel of people with Alzheimer’s disease as they talked about what it’s like to live with this debilitating condition. Even the gentleman whose word-finding difficulties were quite advanced and frustrating for him (He had been an economics professor) was amazingly eloquent as he described how he managed to find a way around the words he could no longer conjure up. All of the panelists described the importance of maintaining a sense of humor. They heartily agreed with what Kurt Vonnegut once said,

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.
I myself prefer to laugh,
since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

At the end, the panelists received a well-deserved standing ovation. If you are planning a conference at which dementia is a topic, my advice for the most moving and enlightening presentation possible is to give people who have Alzheimer’s disease a chance to talk for themselves. (For tips on how to prepare the participants, contact mailto:kathy@wisernow.com )

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