Alanna Shaik

Being prepared, the Alzheimer’s way

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If the monster called Alzheimer’s is going to get you, you may as well be prepared.

How I’m Preparing to Get Alzheimer’s, is a 6 minute and 24 second video recorded in June 2012 at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.  This brief talk by Alanna Shaikh will do more to wake you up about this disease than anything you’ve heard thus far.

If there is even the slightest chance that one of us will get Alzheimer’s or other dementia – and trust me, there’s more than the slightest chance – then we’d better start shaping what Alzheimer’s will look like for you and me.  Here’s an example.

Ms. Shaikh’s father has Alzheimer’s and she talks about the various hobbies and interests held by her father when he was healthier and how those interests carry through during the Alzheimer’s disease process.  He was a college professor at a state school and as Alanna put it, “he knows what paperwork looks like.”  Now in the depths of his disease, someone can put any type of form in front of him and he will gladly fill it out, arbitrarily writing his name or numbers on the various lines provided, and he’ll check the boxes littered throughout the form.  He flourishes in that engagement of his time.

What happens, however, when your favorite hobby pre-disease is reading and editing academic journals, racing cars, or using electric shop tools to make beautiful well-crafted furniture?  How will those hobbies or skills survive the disease process?  Not very well.  So Alanna has come up with three things that she’s doing now to prepare her for the possibility of the Alzheimer’s monster invading her life.

Please watch Alanna’s video.  I think you will be impressed by her thought process.