#3 Making a dent

I decided to continue focusing on Alzheimer’s this week, I chose to interviewed my parents and my grandmother on the topic, knowing that they have experienced the difficulties of the disease second hand through relatives and friends. I focused my questions around asking them their understanding, their experience, and they thinking of possible ways to impact communities.

My mother, Joan, talked about her experience working at a rehab and long term care facility, Monroe Community Hospital, while working on her degree of Therapeutic Recreation. “How powerful the brains is, so much we don’t know and so much we do know. We still need to master it.”, stated Joan, she mentioned experiences were patients were mentally and physically in a different reality, but could then seconds later be experiencing the present, and certain things could trigger those changes between their realities such as smells, tastes, and items. There is going to be a need for workers in the future to support the need of senior care, and people are going to see that this is where the future is going because there is going to be a need, was definitely an interesting take away. 

My grandmother, Anna, has seen her closest friends disappearer and deteriorate because of this disease. She saw her friends repeating information, and wander and get lost, “It’s very sad watching this thing progress.”. You learn the do’s and the don’ts, you don’t ask a lot of questions because they don’t know how to answer them after a while. If you want to make an impact in this disease you need to educate the young generations because they are the ones who are going to be afflicted with this disease. And, if we want to ease the burden of this disease for the generations to come we need to educate ourselves, make healthy life choices, and donate whether it be through money or participation.

My dad, Allan, was definitely the interview that took me by surprise because of his responses. Allan’s response to pros and cons of an aging population definitely took me off guard because of his perspective as an educator. Healthy seniors become more involved in volunteering in schools because they have the time, the energy, and the education to educate young people. Health care systems are going to become strained because senior immune systems are weaker making it harder to fight off disease and infections, and then just in general there is going to be the need to provide more housing for the eldering population. Health care systems are also benefited because seniors are more likely to have a healthcare that covers them, providing more jobs, compared to people who don’t have insurance, which usually strains the system. His other response to the question was confusing…school’s would be affected. School’s are funded by property taxes adn you vote have that raised to create more funding, and the problem is why would a population of people want to support rising the price of taxes to fund school’s that they have no connections too? It hadn’t occurred to me that schools could be affect.

I asked the question how could an impact be made on this issue, because I was still unsure how people could make a difference, but the answers really helped me understand the possible and achievable impacts that could be made. You could participate in walks, volunteer at care facilities, educate yourself and the youth because it could inspire someone to become apart of the research, teach  and that compassion should be shown towards our seniors.

Photo by Adam Griffith on Unsplash

Sasha Miler

2 Responses to “#3 Making a dent

  • Sasha,

    Great work with the interviews. Even though they were all family members, you got three unique perspectives on the issue.

    Having read your detailed summary of the interviews I have some questions. First, reading the summary of the interview with your mother, I began to wonder about jobs or careers working with the elderly. Is there, or will there be in the future, a shortage of people willing to do this work? Are people that work with the elderly respected? Are they paid well? How do we ensure that there are qualified people to work with, help, and/or assist our parents, and later ourselves, in old age?

    Second, after reading about the conversation you had with your father, I started wondering about the effects of an aging population on our state. Vermont as a state is getting older. How is Vermont dealing with an aging population? What does that mean for school budgets, or social security, or health care costs?

    I really liked reading this blog post because it raised lots of questions and made me curious to learn more.


  • Hi Sasha,
    Great work on the interviews! Looks like you got some great interviews and that means finding interviews won’t be hard in the future.

    You said you don’t know how people can make a difference and I wonder what kind of legislation, if any, is there about Alzheimer’s? What has the government done to take action involving an issue that clearly affects communities all across the country?

    Something that I found fascinating is the hopelessness in your grandmother’s interview. She talked about how you just learn what to say and you can’t really do anything about it. I wonder if you try to do something when it first starts and what giving up looks like.

    Can’t wait for more discoveries

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