Where We Live: Examining Alzheimer's

it affects 5.4 million people in the US, including 70,000 people in Connecticut

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Carolyn De Rocco
Photo:Chion Wolf
Joy Mason
Photo:Chion Wolf
Christopher Van Dyck
Where We Live: Examining Alzheimer's
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Where We Live: Examining Alzheimer's

The numbers don’t do justice to the scope of Alzheimers Disease.

Yes, it affects 5.4 million people in the US, including 70,000 people in Connecticut. The number of new cases has also increased 10% nationally over a decade, and that number could rise, especially in a state like Connecticut with a rapidly aging population. The cost to “uncompensated caregivers” - loved ones and others - more than 193 million hours of care, some $2.3 billion.

But the numbers don’t hit home until you hear the story of University of Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summit, at the young age of 59, reporting that she’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

It doesn’t hit until Glen Campbell announces a “farewell tour” because of the advance of the disease.  

And it really hits home when someone you know or love - and we all seem to know someone - begins to suffer from the disease.’

Today, where we live - alzheimers.  We’ll look at new research...and methods of care.  

Walk to End Alzheimer's:
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Enfield Town Green, Enfield, CT
Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, CT

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT
Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, CT
Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT



Listener Email from Richard

My father is in a nursing facility in Stamford called Smith House, which is nothing more than a warehouse for the aged. They keep him over medicated and rarely check on him...My mother who is 75 travels everyday by bus, a trip that takes close to an hour and when she arrives he is so doped up that he sleep most of the day...we have attempted to have him transferred but because of his angry outbursts towards the staff which are mostly untrained women from the Caribbean who seem not to have any caring towards the people there, no one else will take him. My mother cries every day and she has a very bad heart condition. Please help.

Listener Email from Celia

I’d like to suggest for Carolyn DeRocco to test at her couples support group. Perhaps she can offer dance lessons/dance time at her couples meetings.

I was my mother’s primarily caregiver and I used dance to motivate her to do all sorts of things like walking to meals, taking a shower, etc. I’d turn up the salsa music on my itunes/iphone and my mother would light up.

When my mother danced, she lost herself –something that of course Alzheimer’s had already done for her. But unlike losing herself to a disease, she lost herself on her own terms, her own beat, and her own rhythm. When she danced, she was connected to the air, the ground, the people around her, and the energy that she felt.

Latin music, brought her to all the happy moments in her life when she had danced as a child- maybe with her mother, her grandmother, her uncle, her aunt, her niece, her daughter, her grand daughter or just by herself.

She was no longer an Alzheimer’s patient banished from a community where she had once belonged. She was no longer a victim of Alzheimer’s.

She was a Latina giving life to the music that she heard. Who was in charge? She was, not Alzheimer’s.