Alzheimer’s affects families of all shapes and sizes, specifically when it comes to caregiving. Last year, friends and family of those affected with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related conditions provided nearly 18.1 billion hours of unpaid work via caregiving, according to recent reports.
Recently, more and more celebrities are sharing their experiences with the condition, as well as caregiving for their loved ones. Through candid stories, advocacy and raising awareness, many celebrities help those struggling with Alzheimer’s in their family to understand that they are not alone. Here are a few of our favorite inspiring quotes and stories on caregiving, Alzheimer’s treatment and how it can affect a family.
“We quickly found that no one our age was talking about Alzheimer’s. I think the most impressive thing is just to talk about it.”
Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen are two of the most vocal Alzheimer’s activists in Hollywood. Rogen’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. The quick and devastating effects of the disease led the couple to take action. In 2012, they started their non-profit organization, Hilarity for Charity, which helps fund caregiver relief, Alzheimer’s support and brain health education.
Rogen also gave a rousing speech (that went viral) to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee in 2014 about the rising cost of Alzheimer’s treatment and care. The couple is often outspoken about the increased need for us to have conversations about Alzheimer’s. They specifically address the fact that a typical middle-class family might struggle to afford the cost of care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
“Women should lead the way on this because this comes to their doorstep in every way. It comes to them as caregivers. It comes to them in terms of their cognitive health. It comes to them in terms of providing.”
Maria Shriver gave the above quote in an interview with Lenny Letter, on why women are more likely to be diagnosed with and affected by Alzheimer’s. The former first lady of California is one of the leading celebrity activists for the disease, focusing specifically on how it impacts women. Shriver founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, wrote the book What’s Happening to Grandpa and produced the HBO documentary, The Alzheimer’s Project. The many projects and content that Shriver is a part of seeks to illuminate a family’s experience with Alzheimer’s– specifically women and caregivers.
Pro Skateboarder Tony Hawk opened up about his mother’s Alzheimer’s with a particular stirring post on social media in 2018. Hawk has also become an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association. He explained in a Facebook chat that sharing experiences—specifically online or social media—helps caretakers and families find a sense of belonging or humor. Hawk said by using social media to talk about his family’s experience with Alzheimer’s he hopes that others can feel more forthcoming, a sense of community and that they are not alone.
“You have the power to speak up and say something if you suspect any [Alzheimer’s] symptoms in a loved one. Doing so may be uncomfortable, but it just might help slow down the progression in someone you love.”
TV personality Dr. Oz gave an emotional interview in which he admitted to ignoring the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s in his mother. Oz got candid and admitted his own guilt and feelings of failure at missing the signs, in hopes of educating others on early detection.
“Caregivers are amazing angels. I am in awe of their ability to do their job and care for someone with Alzheimer’s and still make [them] feel happy. They make them feel like they’re still living their lives fully.”
Actress, Singer and Producer, Rita Wilson, is an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association with a particular focus on caregiving. Wilson’s mother had Alzheimer’s, to which she gives great credit to their full-time caregiver and financial ability to keep their mother comfortable in her home. Wilson has strived to shine a light on caregivers that come from regular backgrounds, who manage to keep their lives on track while caring for their elder loved ones.
Samuel L. Jackson
Actor Samuel L. Jackson has multiple family members with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is now a spokesperson for Alzheimer’s Research UK and their recent #ShareTheOrange campaign. (Which also includes actors such as Bryan Cranston).
Jackson explained in a recent interview that he knows that the loss of a loved one, even though they’re physically present, is a terrible thing for people to deal with. Jackson admitted that earlier in life, he assumed there’d be a cure by now, and because we don’t, he’s decided to take action.
Get Help With Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiving
For those with a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s, you likely know the toll it can take on your family. Caregiving can put a physical and mental burden on family members, especially if it falls on the shoulders of just one person. Not to mention, the cost of Alzheimer’s treatment can be taxing for some families.
If you feel like you’re getting to the point of caregiver’s burnout, know that there are resources available. At Vineyard Henderson, we host a monthly dementia support group (learn more in our newsletters). We would also love to talk to you about the financial planning involved with exploring memory care communities for your loved one. Get in touch with us today to start the conversation.
Image Credit: Maria Shriver