Words of Alzheimer's Exhibit Highlighted

October 24, 2002

The Michigan Department of Community Health and the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan State Council today announced the “Words of Alzheimer’s Exhibit” done in recognition of the beginning Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  The exhibit presents the “Words” and thoughts of people with Alzheimer’s disease and those impacted by the disease such as family members and caregivers.  Governor John Engler has declared the month of November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.

“More than 166,000 people in Michigan are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Office of Services to the Aging Director Lynn Alexander.  “Raising awareness through this heartfelt exhibit is an important step in our efforts to raise awareness of this terrible disease.”

The exhibit includes over 40 submissions that come from individuals around the sate.  Items include poetry, short stories, journal entries, articles and other written form, either biographical or autobiographical, expressing the participant’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease.  The pieces reflect the capacity for expression among people with cognitive losses and offer a personal glimpse into the world of dementia.  Research has shown that many people with dementia are able to access the creative process despite cognitive losses.  The ability to write a poem or story is still possible for many and is often encouraged as a method of communication and therapy.

The “Words of Alzheimer’s Exhibit” will tour around Michigan and be displayed by various Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan State Council.  To contact an Alzheimer’s Association chapter serving your area call 1-800-337-3827. 

For more information on Alzheimer’s and other illnesses, click on the state Long Term Care web page at http://www.michigan.gov/ltc

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior, ultimately leaving its victims totally incapable of caring for themselves.  It affects males and females of all ethnic and socioeconomic groups equally.