The Alzheimer’s Story


Dementia is more prevalent in our society today than we care to admit. What would you do if your wife or mother doesn’t recognise you anymore? According to the Alzheimer’s society, there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051. 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that’s one in every three minutes. I in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Isn’t it appropriate that we are more aware of the impact of this terrifying disease? Even among footballers, the numbers are climbing up. It is a prevalent disease and I think there should be more public knowledge.

While reading ‘Still Alice’ written by Lisa Genova, I finally understood the terror of the disease through the eyes of the patient. It is terrifying beyond words.This understated disease was further explored through George John’s ‘Susan’s Flutters’ which would be published in the first quarter of this year, precisely on March 30.

George, a retired surgeon, explored the plights of relatives of patients with Alzheimer among other themes. He deftly added other problems any other family in the world could be going through and it was his ability to write this flawless, gripping tale set in the seaside town of Eastbourne along the southern coastline of England that should ultimately endear him to readers.

However, life doesn’t have to end with the diagnosis of Alzheimer, people can still live and enjoy their lives. Love can still blossom, even in the midst of all the confusion befuddling the mind of the patients, their quality of life is, and should still be everyone’s priority, be it the family directly affected with this disease or our very own National Health Service (NHS).

A perfect example is the story of Dr. Avril Staunton who is striving to challenge negative perceptions of dementia. After being shocked at her diagnosis, she has been raising awareness of dementia through series of talks. Avril is determined to remain independent as long as it takes. She is one of many people living with the disease and she is still alive and well.

Reading books, non fiction narratives, or volunteering at the Alzheimer society are different ways we can understand this disease. Also Grabbing a copy of ‘Susan’s Flutter’ when it’s released is another way of knowing more about this disease. it would be worthy of anyone’s time.

Sandra David