Alzheimer’s/dementia is one of the most devastating diseases to hit humanity in recent years, and with the current President of the United States clearly demonstrating his struggle with speech during several public speaking events, this subject will undoubtedly be given more attention in the years to come.
Especially since, like cancer and autism, its rates continue to rise. Now it seems almost everyone knows or is related to someone who has one of these major diseases, and Alzheimer’s/dementia has become so common that it’s almost expected or considered to go hand in hand with old age.
But a very important distinction must be made: Alzheimer’s/dementia is a disease. Growing older, or what’s called ‘aging’, is not a disease. Growing older is a natural part of life, and it is perfectly natural and possible to be healthy at an old age, continuing to enjoy your profession and your family, and to stay healthy up to the moment it’s your time to tap out, rather than spend years in decline until eventually succumbing to sickness.
It’s important to make this distinction because, as Alzheimer’s/dementia has become so commonplace, people now commonly associate it as a natural part of getting older, and thus rather than trying to prevent it, they plan for it.
For example, I recently was browsing comments in a money-saving group, and I saw one woman who posted that she is 35 and very worried that she has not started a retirement savings plan yet and is going to make it a priority this year. At first glance, such a statement seems ludicrous — 30 years is a lot of time, right?
It should be. But then the answer occurred to me — they have to save up for so long to pay for their Alzheimer’s/dementia care. It costs about $5,000 to $10,000 a month to live in a retirement home with round-the-clock medical staff. So, no wonder people are freaking out in their thirties, trying to plan for the end of their life before they have really even started it.
Surely we can do better than this. Surely our elders deserve better than this. Especially since the past year of government restrictions has turned their retirement communities into de facto prisons and their last years on Earth into emotional pain and suffering.
When elders are put into care homes, it is an unspoken rule that they are going there to die, and everyone accepts it, and the goal is to simply make the last few years of their lives as comfortable and as manageable as possible, and to enjoy it with things like activities, as well as visits from their family members.
This was all taken away from them, most ironically in the name of ‘saving lives’. And then to top it off a with little more irony, in some states, such as here in Michigan, covid-positive patients were bizarrely and inexplicably moved into retirement communities, even sharing rooms with elders, including one very sad case of elder abuse.
Elders were not allowed to visit with each other or their families and their activities were canceled, for months. I worked in a nursing home years ago, and I know how much just going down for breakfast every morning meant to them. To have so little left in life, and then to have even that taken away — to ‘save lives’ — and then to be put into direct contact with those who are confirmed to have the disease, which effectively transmitted to elders and killed untold numbers of them — the administration’s entire covid policy can be considered elder abuse, and the administration should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Yet, they continue unabated to this day.
Will there ever be justice? I don’t know. I hope so.
What I can tell you is that the best way to avoid this outcome from happening to you and your loved ones is to not have to depend on institutions, which are clearly not serving you, in the first place.
Retirement communities, along with Alzeheimer’s/dementia, are a fairly new facet of American life. Even just a hundred years ago, we didn’t have them. Why? Because we didn’t need them. Life was entirely different then.
For one, elders were still cognizant and functional — they did not need 24/7 medical attention. It was perfectly possible for an elder to live with family members who would help take care of them — especially since there also was usually someone else at home. This was before the advent of the two-income household. Now, working adults do not have the time, let alone the medical capacity, to care for their incapacitated parents themselves.
But why do elders today require such extensive (and expensive) care, when this was not the case only a hundred years ago? What has happened between then and now to completely change the meaning of life for an elder? Why are they all spending years in a sad cognitive decline and no longer able to participate in life in a meaningful way?
Alzheimer’s/Dementia is a Lifestyle Disease
This is a disease that seems to run in my family, so it is one I have paid particularly close attention to. My grandmother is currently dealing with it, and her mother before her died of dementia. But, curiously, her own mother — my great, great grandmother — did not have this disease, and in fact outlived her daughter, and even outlived most people, finally passing away at the age of 105. She received a letter from President Clinton congratulating her on her age! A very robust and strong woman.
So when and why did dementia come into her line? Although it’s possible that it came in through my great-great grandfather, I noticed something interesting about the time period they lived in and the changes to mass society as a result. Specifically, the mass manufacture of canned goods using aluminum, and in particular soda ‘pop’, which is extremely acidic. Acids have the exceptional ability to leach metals into liquid contents — such as the Diet Coke my grandmother has had every day as far back as my memory stretches.
My great great grandmother was born in 1897, meaning she was over 40 when mass manufacturing really took off — meaning, most of her lifestyle habits were probably well cemented in the old ways, and not changing.
However (and I am speculating here, unfortunately I did not ever know my great grandmother when she was healthy to ask her about her life), it is possible that her daughter was the perfect age to embrace all of the new and exciting advancements in the mass manufacturing of consumer products — and her daughter, my grandmother, from there.
I don’t take this lightly, this is my family, and the reason I am sharing this is so that we can learn from it. It is very sad that humans have had to bear the brunt of experimental technologies without knowing the impact they will have, but with plenty of feel-good marketing messages to convince them that everything is great.
Now we know otherwise. In 2014 I had the opportunity to attend a lecture on brain health given by Dr. Daniel Amen, one of the leading physicians in the field of brain health. And he made it very clear that Alzheimer’s dementia is a growing threat, and why: aluminum is found in the brains of deceased patients.
What else is aluminum found in?
As mentioned above, canned food and beverage products.
But also, aluminum cookware (including aluminum foil).
Baking soda/powder (and so, commercial/fast food bakery items).
To be clear: there is absolutely no need or normal function for aluminum in the human body.
There are more causative factors too, of course. In my holistic practitioner coursework in 2019, we were warned of two more.
One is sleep: lack of sleep is epidemic and almost glamorized in modern western culture. We all know the immediate effects of sleep deprivation, but the long-term effects include increased risk for Alzheimer’s/dementia. This is because, during sleep, the brain does its cleanup of debris that builds up during the day. There is even a beautiful and hypnotic clip that shows this process, enjoy:
Without this nightly cleansing, debris just builds up and eventually causes damage.
The other major factor is clogged arteries. Yes, there are arteries in the brain, and they are just as vulnerable to clogging as those of the heart (leading to heart disease) and of the reproductive system (leading to erectile dysfunction). When clogged arteries in the brain lead to oxygen deprivation, this is a stroke (sometimes, many of them) — resulting in brain damage.
The best way to unclog arteries is with a high-fiber and low-fat diet, also known as a plant-based diet. Fiber (from organic, whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lentils, whole grains, beans and greens) actively lowers cholesterol by binding with it and removing it from the body via bowel movements. And of course, lowering the amount of fat and cholesterol you eat will help limit the problem from occurring in the first place.
A plant-based diet allows for three servings meat per week to still possibly see benefits — preferably an organic, lean meat such as poultry. The fiber, however, is just as important. Fiber intake has significantly decreased among modern people, to the point where they are getting a fraction of what they used to and what they need to be healthy. With the advent of mass manufacturing, it’s easy, cheap and convenient to eat a lot of fast junk food — but we are now seeing the price is clearly paid in the end.
Changing your lifestyle is not easy, but it’s imperative to do it now. Your health is a far better investment than saving up a million dollars, especially with how fast the world is changing. Who knows what the money system is going to look like 30 years from now? But you can plan on having good health, if you choose it. Health is the real wealth.
The most important thing: love your life. Sure, you can do things to reduce your toxic load and eat healthy fresh food from local sources. But it’s only going to get you so far without the right motivation. You’ve got to want it, even when it’s hard. The mass marketers want us to believe in Easy Street with fast food, and their fancy ads even do the thinking for you.
Now we realize more than ever how crucial it is that we are able to think for ourselves.