Posted: Fri, November 01, 2013 | By:
When Anna Aberg was 18, the neurology clinic in Malmo, Sweden informed her that her 55-year-old father was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease. Coping with the sudden, heart-wrenching problem was confusing and lonely for Anna. Realizing that many others faced the same problems as hers, she created a network in 2010 that evolved into the present-day organization - DON’T FORGET ME.
The group - featured on television and in numerous newspapers - is composed of the sick persons, their families and kind-hearted volunteers who want to lend their support. DON’T FORGET ME also raises funds via Anna’s designs - she has created a bracelet, a t-shirt and a hood… sales are used to support research into Alzheimer’s disease.
The following interview of Anna Aberg was translated from a Swedish news service:
Question: Please Describe DON’T FORGET ME.
Anna: DON’T FORGET ME is a network of people sick with Alzheimer’s and dementia, their relatives, and their supporters. It is also a brand with products: t- shirts, bracelets, t-shirts. We are working to make Alzheimer’s reputation in the community and to raise awareness of the disease and everything around it.
Q: How did you get the idea?
A: It was late at night, I was in my bed at Kungsholmen, in 2010. I was logged into Facebook… I was wishing there was a modern forum for people like me and my father. I decided to start with a group for relatives. I wanted a good name for the group and It became DON’T FORGET ME
Q: What would you like to change for people with dementia?
A: The attitude towards the sick, the way they are treated at diagnosis, and at their workplace… it should be with respect. Also, the environment for the sick when they are now longer working, or driving a car… activities for them is very important. And when the sick need to move to special housing… My dad is with 20-30 year old people and old furniture, it would be nicer for him to live in the present with modern accommodations, surrounded by people his own age. What I want might sound utopian, but it may be possible in the future.
Q: What would you like to change for the relatives?
If care for the sick is improved - it will be easier for the relatives, too. The relatives need help and understanding, so they don’t feel alone, and they should not stop visiting their dad / mom / grandma / grandpa, whoever it is who is ill.
Q: What are your hopes and goals for the future with DON’T FORGET ME?
A: I hope it creates a change in society, that it can create awareness, spread knowledge, and serve the families who want to find a little quiet and togetherness, with their relatives. Also, I hope that we grow and get more followers! I hope it is just the beginning of a larger community.