Sunday, June 26

When I Say, "I Have Alzheimer's," Please Don't Say, "Oh!"


See Brian LeBlanc share the lively way he handles his friends and his Alzheimer's in ordinary conversations.


(Ed. note: Six years later, Brian LeBlanc is still doing well; he is still active as a national advocate, working on behalf of people with Alzheimer's across the country, and writing his true-to-life blog, A Bit of Brian's Brilliance. He's had a few challenges but has dealt with them in his signature style: straightforward, and full steam ahead. Click here to learn more.)


Comment or Share:

  1. Thank you for this video Brian. It's inspiring and I appreciate you bringing more awareness and making a difference in lives. Wish you well.

  2. Thank you for sharing this very interesting information, I did not realize that this disease can hit a p e Orson so young. I admire your coverage and determination. May God bless you.

  3. I feel the same way. I took my early onset diagnosis very well and I am dealing with it very well.

  4. I was diagnosed with early onset 9 years ago. I was 60. I am dealing with it very well too. Thanks for the video Brian. I can relate to everything you had to say.

  5. The words Alzheimer's and dementia are stigmatizing but then we forget the person irrespective of all the fancy speeches and literature and conference rhetoric.

  6. Thanks for the video. Good information and presented very well. I don't think I have Alz, so I'm speaking for those of us who don't. Your revelation that you have early onset Alz shocks (and scares )us. We need to process the information. So please be gracious if all we can say is, "Ohhh".

  7. I can understand how "Oh..." would seem like a poor response. But suddenly finding out that someone has AD is startling, to say the least. What would you prefer that people say? How would you like people to respond?

  8. I admire your courage.
    I am a nurse, and care for people with dementia. From a practioner's perspective, being diagnosed with a debilitating disease is a sad thing. I agree that a diagnosis should not become my identity, but (knowing the prognosis of Alzheimer's) I think a compassionate "oh!" is not inappropriate or shallow if my friend were to tell me she had Alzheimer's or the other way around. If all I said was, "Oh" and walked away, now that would be unkind. I think for most of us engaged in a meaningful conversation need a pause with that news. I think "Oh," for most of us, is simply a pause while our heart tries to keep in step with reality and compassion. But stay. Stay and love our friend, or me. We should resist the ironic comfort of bewilderment, and embrace the opportunity to learn and be helpful.

    1. I agree. I cared for my mother who had Alzheimer's. But she was much older. So when someone comes in contact with a younger person with early onset, being told of the disease is not something one expects to hear. It catches them off guard. I think saying, "oh," is a perfectly normal response. What should they say? It's what happens after being told that counts.


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