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July 08, 2010


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This is really upsetting.

But - I think the fear is not a threat to their children but a threat to the parents.

Many people are worried about having Alzheimer's/Dementia when they age. They want to hide this fear far away and not think about it - thus seeing people who have dementia is a threat to their mental safety.


Tragic Beyond Reckoning!

Can this really be true? Can people in a community be so small minded and ignorant? Hey, guess so, even here in River City, as well as everywhere U.S.A.! (Woodbury is a suburb of the Twin Cities where I live)

This is a fact that underscores the need to educate, to inform, to let people know the reality of having Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It is not so bad in the earlier stages, worse than bad in the later stages. I learned early with early stage that it is a lot more tolerable than worrying about getting it. It gives the opportunity to do something about it which comes down to doing something with it.

It is an overwhelming paradigm shift in one’s life and the lives of family and loved ones of the AD patient. It is different, far different from what was. It needs acceptance, acceptance by the patient, those around the patient and more importantly the community at large.

The community attitude as reported in the article is one of the greatest detractions of truth about AD. There is no danger in exposure of any one to those with AD. We are by and large a lonely, benign group craving understanding and company. To see us as community pariah’s is inexcusable.

Any so called aggressive patients are in locked supervised wards, if in fact a “Home” takes them. Treatment of difficult patients is a specialized service involving specialized care not offered by most “Homes” dealing with AD patients. They are structured for the protection of the patient not that of the community around them.

The bulk of us are a pretty decent lot!

I attend a group activity twice a month conducted by a Church group (Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Hopkins MN) for Early Stage AD Afflicted. Part of the program is a visit by a group of pre-schoolers who meet in the same Church facilities. This is a high point for us. Thank God for the fortitude of the Church and the folks operating both programs.

The saddest part of this story coming out of Woodbury is the want of compassion in the community in opposition to the facility. Their lack of any basic human concept of empathy is missing in action, gone MIA! This void outshines the ignorance and crudeness demonstrated by them.

Although the crudeness is not something new in our culture, one need only look at the process of political opposition to know its breadth. It still does not answer, “When will we ever learn?”

In advocating of AD community support I stress the savings to us individually and as a society at large. I propose programs to serve folks in Early Stage designed to assist them and prolong them in Early Stage and out of the “Home”. I also urge the formation of more programs for do it ourselves projects to provide for the needs of those AD Affected. I do this to make my position more publicly palatable and not just another voice crying “Gimmee.”

It really goes deeper than this. Our lives have an overriding tension constantly tugging at us. Choices! Yea or Nay, to be decided each step of the way. Do we choose for our own personal purposes or do our choices reflect more altruism for our fellow man.

I have been recently intrigued by the growing attitude among young people to help one another as compete with one another. This flashes in the face of the philosophical framework of writers of the Enlightenment who promoted the Survival of the Fittest as the way to survive and improve as a culture which has been a controlling outlook in our western culture ever since.

It is this attitude that has now culminated centuries later in the mess we live in now. Every one is out for themselves, no holds barred. This has gotten us wars, mini-depression, congressional stalemate and neighborhood isolation to name but a few.

Enough is enough! We need to re-educate as suffer more Woodbury Minnesota attitudes. We need to know publicly that AD is not this kind of a stereotype drawn by those in opposition to the building a home in a residential community.

Instead of demonstrating “Attitude” they should be asking, what can we do to make it beneficial to our children and our neighborhood?

Mike Donohue

Richard Taylor


folks like this give Minnesota a bad name. They also reveal fears, misunderstanding, stigmas, and ignorance of just what dementia is and is not. Since half the objectors will themselves end up living with at least some of the symptoms of dementia it is truly in their own best interests to know more about it.

Since they will love older family and and friends who are living with the symptoms of dementia perhaps now is the time to get to deal with their own issues concerning dementia.

Since it's a moral obligation to care for each other, to give of ourselves to others, to especially enable and support those who cannot truly be themselelves, meet their own needs by themselves - perhaps in the best intersts of everyone living in the state of Minnesota they should re-think their objections


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