Pre-thinking:

We all know about Alzheimer’s Disease- a form of Dementia that affects thinking, memory and behavior. Most of our friends, grandparents, parents, or even siblings can suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease as they grow older and older. However, have you ever stopped to think about what might happen if you started showing signs of Alzheimer’s? Scary to think about, huh? In our society today we know many of the symptoms that come along with Alzheimer’s disease, but we aren’t exactly sure how to prevent it from happening. Though there is no prevention, there are ways to make Alzheimer’s a little less miserable if you are one of the millions of individuals that have the disease. Alanna Shaikh is an individual who’s family has a strong history of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. How do you think she is preparing for this event in her life to occur?

Why you should listen:

Alanna Shaikh is especially interested in Alzheimer’s, as she has watched her father deteriorate from the disease over the past 12 years. But she says the experience has not sent her into denial—she plans to be prepared for the genetically transmitted disease, should it ever arrive.

Who is she:

Her Bio that accompanies this TED talk says, “TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh is a global health and development specialist with a vendetta against jargon. On her blog, Blood and Milk, she aims to make global development issues both accessible and understandable. In her TED Book, What’s Killing Us, she explains the biggest challenges in global wellness — from HIV/AIDS to the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics — in a way that anyone can understand”.

Questions:

  1. If you have Alzheimer’s Disease, what functions does it impair? (Emotional, physical, mental?)
  1. In what ways do people make excuses about developing dementia? Can it be completely prevented?
  1. If you keep your brain active as a young adult, are you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease?
  1. What three things does Alanna Shaikh plan to do to change her life in order to prepare for getting Alzheimer’s Disease?
  1. While taking care of someone with Dementia, is it better to provide them with mental activities or hands-on activities?
  1. In what ways do familiarity with one’s body and hands-on activities help a person to cope with Alzheimer’s Disease?

How I’m Preparing to get Alzheimer’s with Alanna Shaikh

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