Alzheimer advocacy by Maria Shriver

Diana Miron

Written by Diana Miron
Posted in: Health
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Alzheimer is a disease that is spreading all over the world. It is the most common form of dementia and most often appear in old aged people. It is characterized by symptoms like confusion irritability, aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, and memory loss – even long term memory loss. The causes that lead to this disease are harder to be found out, but researches are still trying to do so.

Maria Shriver is a well known journalist and the author of six best sellers. She is a member of the Kennedy family and she is the first lady of the California State. Therefore, she is married to the well known actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her entire life she is known as having advocated for people’s mental disabilities.

Under the banner WE she has taken into herself the possibility to help women throughout California. Being launched just in 2003, the California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women has become one of the most influential women meetings in the world. Apart from people in the state that are actually interested in this issue, there are more personalities that attend this meeting each year and that give their best to help with something.

This year Conference will be held from 24 to 26 October in Long Beach and it will feature an ecliptic line up of journalists, entertainers and as well leaders. Personalities such as Mary J. Blige, Campbell Brown, Deepak Chopra, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Donna Karan, Billie Jean King and Robert Redford.

This year’s conference is about Alzheimer and what should be done to fight it and lower the cases that have started to multiply in the last years. On October 24th she will lead a march on Alzheimer and Candlelight Vigil. By this she hopes to raise awareness and as well funding to support the over five million Americans that suffer from this disease.

She deals with this disability as she has been struggling with this disease for seven years since her father was diagnosed with it. “Back then I didn’t know really anything about the disease — I knew that President Reagan had been diagnosed, but that was really about all … My brothers and I and my mother had no idea what our father would go through.” When she tried to gather information, she found “a very bleak and dark landscape out there — people didn’t talk about it.”

She then started to create her own Alzheimer Project with her children’s help – “The Alzheimer Project”, which she as well produced it with website, DVDs and printed materials. She believes that apart of the fact that this was a big insight into this particular disease, it had a big impact on the Americans as it as well, coincided with the fact that they ere dealing with an increase in this regard.

As she herself is passing through this experience she believes that this is a disease that just blows your mind off. It is a very hard thing to see a person that you knew as being taught, intelligent, that you look up to, that has taught you a lot of things, in this state, of not knowing anything more. It is a condition that just leaves you breathless especially if a dear person goes through something like this.

Moreover, it was proven that the vast majority of people that suffer from Alzheimer are women. Therefore more than seventy percent of the people that develop Alzheimer are women and this as well is true for other disease like Parkinson, Huntington or stroke victims. According to a report from this year the disease needs more money into it, it needs businesses to realize the importance that it has on the world and on women especially. As women are the most that catch this disease they are as well the ones that actually care for the elderly generation. So, something must be done in this regard. The government should as well ask itself more seriously this question, whether there is something that has to be done, how fast can they actually do it etc.

Despite of the fact that she want to trigger attention, she is well aware of the fact that the vast majority of women sees it just as another way of aging. They are not aware of how to get old beautifully. She states the fact that we know and we are told what to wear in our older age, but no one actually teaches us how to act and how to maintain our brain healthy. The thought, the possibility of remembering, the loving feeling and as well the way to process the information is what the future should be concentrated on; discovering the answers to these questions. It is essential on discovering the answers of these questions and this is what Shiver is interested in.

She is well aware of the fact that she was given such importance and all her acts were taken into consideration due to the fact that her husband was in office, but as he leaves the office this years, she hope that as she will continue be listened as she is decided to go on with this campaign. “The goal of the Women’s Conference, under my direction, has really been to empower women to be architects of change. If you want to be an architect of change by raising great kids, God bless. If you want to do it by raising money for your kid’s school, great. If you want to build a garden — whatever it is.”

As she herself comes from a strong family she is well aware of the fact that despite of being gentle and beautiful and soft a woman must as well be, strong, feminist, smart, and fight for your right. As, no one else will fight the battle if not you.11

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