Alzheimer's is a powerful and emotional disease. You are forced to watch a loved one literally fade away.
A video profile of Stephen Hume, created by my good friends at First Priority Media, shows that Alzheimer's is not just an old age disease. Very poetically and poignantly, Hume describes how his world is changing, shrinking and losing its "intensity."
"[Our doctor told us] your world will progressively shrink until it becomes the size of the chair you're sitting in."
Realizing he will eventually lose his ability to connect with his wife, he pays it forward with praise, appreciation, respect and love for those who will be tasked with looking after him.
"As caregivers, please know how important what you do is and how truly lonely this disease would be without you."
This line alone illuminates the power and importance of an engaged patient as well as their family and friends. Taking care of our health and medical conditions is a team sport. Having someone by your side — as your coach and advocate — can mean the difference between living and simply surviving.
The film, "The Intensity of Life," was part of the American Brain Foundation's 2013 Neuro Film Festival that aims to raise awareness about funding for brain research. It was done for the Alzheimer's Association of Rhode Island.