| World Alzheimer's Month
The theme for World Alzheimer's Day 2011
is Faces of Dementia
according to the Alzheimer's Disease International - ADI
- and a lot it's been deliberated.
is a specific form of Dementia, accounting about 50-70% of cases of Dementia and manifests through specific microscopic brain abnormalities.
Even today it’s almost impossible to see such brain irregularities, so for a doctor to definitively distinguish Alzheimer’s from other types of Dementia requires a thorough patient history, medical tests and an examination to define the patient’s abilities.
Alzheimer's Disease progresses slowly, beginning with loss of short-term memory, loss of judgment, the ability to feel things, consciousness, language, speech and also the ability to interact with the environment.
Alzheimer's Disease is not a normal part of aging. It is a progressive disease (worsens over time) and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S..
is an impairment of thinking and memory which will interfere with a person’s ability to do things he or she was previously able to do.
In short, Dementia is more of a symptom, and encompasses the deterioration of the brain and intellectual abilities which are a result of an unspecified disease or disorder of the brain. A diagnosis of Dementia is useless in itself unless you know what is causing the Dementia.
There are other causes of Dementia besides Alzheimer’s disease such as Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, a brain injury and even extreme dehydration.
Distinguishing Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia differences is crucial because some causes of Dementia are treatable and potentially curable, while Alzheimer's has no cure - there are treatments that slow the symptoms and ensure a better life for patients.
During 2005 I was a volunteer at the Brazilian Association of Alzheimer's - ABRAz, for the simple commitment to volunteer.
Returned in 2011 for family reasons and in order to join
ABRAz is an non-governmental organization that provides information to families, professionals and caregivers in touch with Alzheimer's Disease patient. Helps informing the population through support groups, courses for families, scientific updates for professionals, family's personal service, newsletters, ...
ABRAz believes that information is a way to provide to a person with Alzheimer's Disease and his family a better quality of life.
As September is a month of intensive activity and with the proximity of the World's Day (21st), I decided to write this post about Tatsumi Orimoto
, more specifically about the series "The Art Mama"
Before "The Art Mama" became a personal issue to my life, I used to be shocked
by that artistic shameless exposure of a patient with Alzheimer's. I even wonder why that Orimoto
work was called art
And not in the foolish way to discuss what art is, but I feel sad to see that mother with no consciousness, no cognitive capacity, exposed to the world amplified in large pictures, unable to behave rationally to (possible) ridicule. Well ...
Life + Reality
Actually "The Art Mama" is very far from ridiculous. It is a work that captures the most contemporary issues about aging, self-image and 'excluded' from society.
"My art is daily life, my daily life is art.
"For a few years I've been living with my mother, who's very sick.
"Every day I care for her, cook for her, help her with everything. Although she can walk, it's very strenuous for her, so she stays in bed almost all day. She also has problems with her memory, but she recognizes me.
"Yes, it's difficult; my daily life is devoted to her.
I thought that if that's the situation I'm going to be in, then we'll just make art out of it.
"I'm interested in people, and my artistic work is communication.
"The Art Mama
is the work that I do together with my mother, and I imagine that it will continue for another couple of years."
© interview by Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder | 2001
When I've questioned Orimoto's "The Art Mama" was just because my impotence to expose my mother if under similar conditions.
Fortunately today I admire the courage and strength that carries this series.
How many of us should expose issues of contemporary society as Orimoto does?
When our private problems could so explicitly benefit society in an artistic way like this?
was born in 1946 / Kawasaki
studied at the California Institute of the Arts
1971 moved to New York
1977 returned to Kawasaki due to his mother diagnosis
He is best known for "Bread Man" performances
Lives and works with her mother in Kawasaki, Japan
© All copyright remains with photographer Tatsumi Orimoto, Courtesy DNA
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