Dementia | WAMC

Dementia

Book cover for "Remember" by Lisa Genova
Harmony

Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels "Still Alice," "Left Neglected," "Love Anthony," "Inside the O'Briens," and "Every Note Played." "Still Alice" was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore.

Genova graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about.

In her new book, "Remember," she delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them.

Leah Reed is the Minority Engagement Ambassador for Dementia Friendly Massachusetts, an initiative of the state’s council on aging that works to make communities more aware of dementia inclusivity. She’s moderating a free webinar today to discuss bridging the gap between African Americans and the care that could alleviate the strains of dementia in Berkshire County. The webinar – which includes speakers from the faith and clinical communities – begins at 2 p.m. Reed spoke with WAMC about Dementia Friendly Massachusetts and how it’s working to overcome systemic barriers to care.

In the U.S., 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day; by the time a person reaches 85, their chances of having dementia approach 50 percent. And the truth is, there is no cure, and none coming soon, despite the perpetual promises by pharmaceutical companies that they are just one more expensive study away from a pill.

Despite being a physician and a bioethicist, Tia Powell wasn't prepared to address the challenges she faced when her grandmother, and then her mother, were diagnosed with dementia; not to mention confronting the hard truth that her own odds aren't great.

With her book, "Dementia Reimagined," Dr. Powell's goal is to move the conversation away from an exclusive focus on cure to a genuine appreciation of care, what we can do for those who have dementia, and how to keep life meaningful and even joyful.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Today we’ll learn about Eddy Alzheimer’s Services’ Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative. The goal of which is to help relieve the physical, emotional, and financial burden of caregivers in New York state that are caring for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Andrew Delollo is Grant Manager for Eddy Alzheimer’s Services and he joins us to tell us more. 

  Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
  
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day.

  In The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge described the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience—what we call neuroplasticity.

His new book, The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity ,shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works.

Connie Shulman, left, with Laury Sacks.
Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury

Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury is one of the scariest films of the year, but it’s not a horror movie. It’s a loving documentary — a true story of a devastating decline. The subject is Laury Sacks, a lively actor and mother who in her mid-40s started struggling to speak. Her quick deterioration from a form of dementia affects everyone around her: family, caretakers, and a large group of friends who stand by her during the worst.

New York state is spending $67 million to help those caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease — part of an ambitious effort to support families dealing with the degenerative condition.

  What would you do if you started to disappear? At the age of 45, friend Laury Sacks - an actress and mother - had a reputation as the quickest wit in the room. At the age of 46, she began forgetting words. Soon she could barely speak.

The documentary film, Looks Like Laury Sounds Like Laury, captures one year in her journey with  frontotemporal dementia, a little-understood disease that strikes people in the prime of life.

Looks Like Laury Sounds Like Laury will screen at the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, CT at 7pm this Friday, April 24th.

NYS Senator's Bill On Alzheimer's Database Advances

Mar 4, 2015
Courtesy of Sue Serino

A New York state freshman senator from the Hudson Valley says her bill to create an Alzheimer’s and dementia database has moved one step forward.

Facebook: The Clark

A new program at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts is meant to engage people with dementia. The program that began today is also designed to serve as an outlet for caregivers.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A recent forum in Pittsfield sought to educate and support those caring for loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Joan Fields has been a professional caregiver for the past two years, but has been helping relatives deal with the debilitating diseases for nearly 35 years.