Audio: Learning to Live with Dementia, it’s Not a Matter of ‘If’, But “When”

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it is still the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. That’s according to the World Health Organization which has recently come out with a new report on dementia research. While the disease poses many challenges, as Kevin Lind reports, there’s another problem patients have to overcome: stigma.

Stephen Lynn was a successful emergency medicine doctor before to his Alzheimer’s diagnosis 11 years ago. Lynn and his wife Susan discuss some of the stigma associated with the disease and the positive lessons they learned from living with it. 

Adding context is Reverend Lynn Casteel Harper from Riverside Church on the Upper West Side who wrote a book on the stigma surrounding dementia called “On Vanishing.” Reverend Harper carries the gene most commonly associated with dementia and Alzheimers and gives insight into how she, as a religious leader in dementia wards and someone likely to have it later in life, has learned to navigate the challenges of a disease we often stigmatize.