10 Quotes that Will Change the Way You See Alzheimer’s

Over 35 million people worldwide struggle with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Yet, despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, there’s still a powerful, stigma-fueled taboo attached to the disease.

In the minds of most, Alzheimer’s is a slow death sentence that gradually morphs a vibrant human being into a pitiable shell of their former selves—a zombie-like figure, sitting in a chair and staring out the window. Those with the disease hesitate to divulge their diagnosis to friends (and even family), for fear of being subjected to unintentional prejudice and isolation.

But the only individuals who really understand what life with Alzheimer’s is really like are those who are living with the disease—the patients, and their family members.

A few of these incredible men and women have decided to share their real-life experiences in Fade to Blank: Life Inside Alzheimers, a story that explores the human side of Alzheimer’s through the eyes of three different families. Their hope is that, by offering their insights, the world will gain a better understanding of the truths of the disease.

Here are just a few of the illuminating things they have to say about their battle with Alzheimer’s:

  • “It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.“ Rick Phelps, diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at age 57, discussing how he felt after his neurologist informed him of the truth of his condition.
  • “I live it one day at a time.“ Phyllis June Phelps, wife of Rick, on how she handles the reality of her husband’s disease.
  • “What’s happened with my telling people about my Alzheimer’s has been an incredible deepening of relationships.“ David Hilfiker, remarking on how going public with his diagnosis has been so beneficial to both him and his loved ones.
  • “I just hope I’ll never become so embattled as to lose my love.” Marja Hilfiker, David’s wife, on facing an uncertain future of caring for her husband as his cognitive capacity declines.
  • “My perception has changed a lot since Mom was diagnosed. I always thought of an old person, in a wheelchair, staring out the window.” Michele DeSocio, talking about how much she’s learned about the truths of Alzheimer’s while caring for her mother, Jean.
  • “Today is the best day I could ever have.“ Rick offers his philosophy on making the most out of each day.
  • “You can’t pretend it’s not there.“ Phyllis June on why denying the existence of Alzheimer’s is unproductive.
  • “It’s very painful to look at this woman you love and to know what’s coming for her” David’s biggest fear is the impact his disease will have on his wife’s life.
  • “It didn’t feel like the disaster that we had always considered it.“ Marja was surprised by how she and David were able to accept his diagnosis and make a plan for the future.
  • “It’s a terrible disease, but there’s a lot of good left in life. You’ve got to learn to adjust to their world.” Michele on how she has learned to find the light inside the darkness while dealing with her mother’s disease.

To take a journey with Rick, Phyllis June, Michele, Jean, David and Marja as they navigate the uncertain world of Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.fadetoblank.org.

fadetoblank.org – Fade to Blank: Life Inside Alzheimer’s

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor


Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Respect is the key

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Alzheimer's is a HORRIBE disease!! My Mom lived with it for 10 years! I watched her go from a vibrant women who never sat still to a shell of herself who sat in a wheelchair and looked at us like she did not remember who we were!
She's in Heaven now and I know she is not in pain and remembers everything!! I hope she remembers I love her!!

Kate R.
Past Member 5 years ago

I don't know which is more terrifying, the thought of having to look after a loved one with this condition or the thought of getting it myself.

Azaima A.
Azaima A5 years ago

it is like entering a new reality to converse with a person with Alzheimers

Margaret M. F.
Marge F5 years ago

Thank-you for posting this article.

Cheryl B. - I think you maybe asking for differences between Alzheimer's & Dementia. Part of my comment to the article, 'The Alzheimer's 'Cure' We Can Do Right Now" I stated, '...Dementia means there is a decrease in one of the cognitive abilities which includes memory, attention, language, & problem solving. Having an issue with one of these abilities does not automatically mean one has Alzheimer's.' I wish this is the 'defining factors between alzheimer's and dementia you are seeking'. This is the link to the article posted. The rest of my comment is at 3:53 PM PST on 11/12/13.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-alzheimers-cure-we-can-create-right-now.html#ixzz2lj4qeZEs

Were you still to need further information, or for any other medical issue(s), may I suggest the website 'WebMD.com'. I find it to be an excellent plethora of information in an easily understood format. I'm a RN & worked in a hospital for over 31 years in a critical care area & I use WebMD.com as one of my first go to websites when I need medical information for myself or anyone else. I do wish I have answered your question or at least headed you in the right direction.

Edo R.
Edo R5 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Julie C.
Julie C5 years ago

Dementia is an awful thing for the patient and caregiver, but is much easier once you realize the "normal" person is not coming back, allow yourself to have a sense of humor about it, and be grateful for what you can be. It's not easy and not always possible, but I wouldn't give up the months my husband had with dementia for anything. Thank God I was able to stay with him until the end.

Cheryl Bianchi
Cheryl Bianchi5 years ago

still trying to determine the defining factors between alzheimer's and dementia...any help?

Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago


Harshiita Sharma
Harshita Sharma5 years ago

thanks for the info