I Have Alzheimer’s
My father’s story
Several years ago Stella Braam’s father was told he had Alzheimer’s disease. His daughter spent the next two years with him, documenting his life with all its ups and downs. Her account is both unique and controversial.
‘A diagnosis of dementia is a license to deprive a person of all his civil rights,’ says her father, a psychologist and author. Disorientation and fear, restlessness and anger come to dominate his life. He fights to be given treatment that will allow him some dignity, but soon he no longer recognizes his family or the nurses. The drugs he receives make him practically silent. ‘It’s as if you exist less and less,’ he says. ‘It’s unbearable.’
In this moving book about her father’s illness, Braam describes his wishes and feelings. ‘Sufferers from Alzheimer’s have a lot to say about their own situation. They should be taken seriously. They should be listened to.’ I Have Alzheimer’s created shockwaves in the Netherlands, where the ‘Alzheimer’s activist’ quickly came to represent the many elderly people with dementia. This is a powerful appeal for respect for the rights of patients with Alzheimer’s.