Over 900 Alzheimer’s advocates have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 25th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum. We have asked attendees from the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter to share their insights from the sessions they have attended. Here is what they had to say on Day 1:
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We will cast our votes for Congress and the Presidency a week from today. If you’re still trying to make up your mind about how to vote, remember to ask your candidates the following questions about where they stand on Alzheimer’s issues:
Congress required the creation of a National Alzheimer’s Plan.
- How will you work to implement the first ever Alzheimer’s Plan that was reported to Congress this year? Continue reading “Where does your candidate stand on Alzheimer’s?” »
It was a soggy morning in Sacramento, but more than 200 dedicated Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocates still showed up in good spirits to the 2012 Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Among them: people with early stage Alzheimer’s, family caregivers, healthcare professionals and other Alzheimer’s champions.
Following a light breakfast and overview of the day, we were welcomed to the Capitol by Senator Tom Berryhill who thanked everyone for their work as volunteers.
“What you’re doing up here today is very important because education of these legislators in that building is so necessary.”
Training for the group continued with an overview of “legislator meeting Dos and Don’ts” by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell.
“We work for you and that can be a one sided relationship unless you make it otherwise and reach out to us on a regular basis,” she said. “That’s your responsibility as Californians. I have a job to do and you have a job to do to make us informed of issues that are important to you.
Not normally a sports fan, there are some nuggets of information even I can’t avoid. Like the incredible record of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team. So, when I read today that their long-time coach, Pat Summitt, has early onset Alzheimer’s (she’s only 59), the news was like a slap in the face. That’s the “bad” – a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is never good, right?
But the courage Ms. Summitt displayed in opening up to the public, while saying that she’ll continue to coach as long as it makes sense, certainly strikes me as the “good.” One of my mantra’s is, after all public awareness! Visibility! Information! The very pleadings that were expressed during the recent NAPA listening session held in San Francisco on August 10th!
And, here’s another one: I must have missed it, but Glen Campbell announced in June that he has Alzheimer’s. He’s still engaged in his music and has a new album coming out on August 30th. Again, the “good” and the “bad.”
I thank these two celebrities for not hiding behind a veil. They and their loved ones are not afraid of speaking out. It’s about time! All of this helps us beat down the stigma we know is associated with Alzheimer’s.
What’s also buried in these stories is that these two individuals know that their lives are defined by what they can do, not by what they can’t (and they are supported in their belief by those who live and work with them). And, they can do a lot! This is another powerful message worth repeating. Continue reading “Celebrities with Alzheimer’s in the news: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” »