I was very disappointed in the PBS special which aired tonight called "Every Minute Counts" about Alzheimer's disease. What a money grab for research dollars (pharma). After 30 years of research and billions spent, so little progress. I don't believe the solution is a pharmacological solution.
After all this time, it's still very difficult to diagnose (doctors pretend to know more than they do), no treatment, no cure. More needs to be spent on helping people with the diagnosis live their best lives (research better communication methods), and more money on assistive innovations to help patients and their care partners, including money for respite. AND more money to reduce the STIGMA through education. There is NO SHAME in having dementia!
Patients and care partners don't need/want your pity (hated the depressing music playing in the documentary tonight, with the drumbeats and all that--ugh) and they don't even need your compassion. They need the gift of our understanding and of our "time" (to give the care partner a break, mow the grass, make dinner, invite them over to your house or cook dinner at their house).
Elva Roy is the Founder of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.