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Alzheimer’s Awareness; #StrongerTogether

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Alzheimer’s Awareness; #StrongerTogether

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Bubba Jordan, vocalist for The Red Counts.

Alzheimer’s Helpline: 1-800-272-3900 

In the house over the hill, through the dark green door, under the “Be Nice or Leave” sign, you’ll find a grey-haired man in a baseball cap and cowboy boots with a coffee mug in his hand and a Bible by his side. He’ll welcome you with open arms and listening ears, and then he’ll do it all over again once he forgets the conversation you just had. This man is my grandfather. Bubba Jordan, a Vietnam War veteran, 60’s Mississippi rock star, and former Sunday School teacher, was diagnosed with Familial Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.  In many cases, personality changes occur in the patient. Thankfully, my Bubba is almost the exact same. He’s still the most positive person I know, with so much faith. He even says that Alzheimer’s is a blessing because “everyday is new.”

The first sign of Bubba’s diagnosis was recognized by my mom, when he asked where to put the forks. “We’d lived in the same house since 1976, organized the spoons and forks the exact same way, and one day he looks at me with a fork in his hand and says, ‘Where does this go?’” He still drove the first few years, he’d take my brother and me to the bank and get us green lollipops, but two duct-taped broken car mirrors later, and it was time for him to get out from behind the wheel.  

Alzheimer’s disease is a “type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. 5.7 million Americans live with this disease, and by 2050, this number is supposed to rise to 14 million. This means everyone knows, or will meet, someone with the disease at some point in their life. While the effects of Alzheimer’s are scary, and there are many “what-if” situations that play over again in families’ heads, with the medical advances of our generation, research and clinical trials are taking place trying to find a cure.  

There are medications to slow the progression of memory loss. “Brain food,” exercises, and supplements —largely based on testimonials (so heavily research these before use)—are also used to delay progression. Clinical trials are “research studies conducted in people to determine whether treatments are safe and effective.” These are crucial in finding a cure for any disease. Researchers are so close to stopping Alzheimer’s completely, and they have “great hope that in the near future there will be treatments that can stop or slow Alzheimer’s completely.”

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Alzheimer’s Awareness; #StrongerTogether