Rick Phelps was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010 at the age of 57. In the hopes of raising awareness about the disease, he has made a number of videos about his personal journey. With the same goal in mind, I’ve been posting his videos each Sunday. This one was made February 4, 2011, and is titled “I Knew.” In it Rick talks about knowing something was wrong several years before he was actually diagnosed. He also talks about how difficult it is to explain what having Alzheimer’s is like, how different it is from forgetting the name of an acquaintance or misplacing the car keys. He also shares his desire to make the most of time with his family while he can still remember who they are.
In an effort to help those who have been touched by Alzheimer’s, Rick started Memory People, a Facebook support group for patients, caregivers, family members, and advocates, a place where they can share stories and walk this journey together. Look for Memory People on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, call 1-800-272-3900 or go to www.alz.org.