North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › How should NTOS relate with a member who has the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease?

How should NTOS relate with a member who has the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 262
Not just a hypothetical question. We have an older member who may have the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

We have never met her at any of our NTOS events. She has been interested in Objectivism for many years. She would like to participate once in a while in our social events but can no longer drive. She lives in a retirement community in the Garland/Mesquite area, which is rather far away from most of our events. She cannot afford to use a taxi service.

How should NTOS relate with a member in this situation? Would you consider helping by giving a ride or contributing for a taxi to bring her to our events? How would you personally respond to such a person at one of our events? If we help bring her to our social events, would this make participation in NTOS more valuable or less valuable to you personally, and why?

-- Todd
Balke C.
user 2754613
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 1
Gee - I can't make it to many meetings and I live on the exact other end of the Metroplex or I would volunteer to bring her. I would certainly be up to contributing a few dollars towards a taxi ride. Perhaps if no one lives nearby, it might be cheaper to have a taxi ride just to a willing driver who lives closer.

As to whether or not her being there would make the meetings I attend more valuable - well, I don't think her presence would somehow automatically be of less valuable to me than the presence of any other random person attending the meeting who is a perfect stranger. As long as she has the presence of mind to appreciate Objectivism and attach significance to attending such a social gathering, then she would presumably have the presence of mind to have something personality wise to offer those with whom she shares similar values.

The way the Metroplex is set up, not having the mobility of one's own car can be a real bummer for a person of any age - and having to give it up because of declining mental and/or physical capacities must be even more so. The fact that she still wishes to enjoy life and pursue social and intellectual values, I think, are virtues that would make me inclined to wish to see her at a future meeting.

Dismuke
http://Dismuke.org
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Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 91
I will be frank. However, to avoid being misunderstood: my heartfelt sympathy goes out to this member, and I am genuinely sad to hear that she is in such a situation.

Given that, whether or not she would add value to the party depends, besides of course on her own personality, of course, on how far the disease has progressed. If she is fully cognizent (sp?) of the events around her and able to appreciate a bit of social interaction, then of course she would be welcome, in my mind. But if she cannot, then all that would be is a sad spectacle to everyone involved, and not appropriate for a party.

Again, text is such a limiting factor, and reading over the previous paragraph I seem to come across as rather cruel, which I do not mean to. I am merely trying to be frank. Again, reading this news made me feel genuinely sad, but it (how far has it progressed, etc) is a question that needs answering.

Given all this, I hear alzheimer's can be diagnosed fairly early and people remain sociable for years afterwards. If that is so, then depending on how late she can stay up (as you all probably know, I stay pretty late), I would be glad to take her to and from the NTOS meetings myself.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 264
Santiago asks a good question, and I should have included the answer in my initial post. I spoke with the lady on the telephone for about 45 minutes on the phone. She seemed able to carry on a coherent conversation for the entire time.

I appreciate the sentiments expressed so far and the volunteering to help with her transportation. We can work out the details for transportation later.

I have not workout out the philosophical basis for these sentiments, however. I expect they are rationally based, but I wonder if anyone can express why?

-- Todd
Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 95
In that one can enjoy her company, I mean...she is who she is. Assuming she's an enjoyable person to be around, you evaluate a person based on who they are right now, not who they might or might not be at some indeterminate point in the future.

IF she has alzheimer's (I notice now you put "might" in there,) it has no effect on her value to you as a person until it actively inhibits her ability to interact with people.
Santiago V.
sanjavalen
Dallas, TX
Post #: 100
uh, does she want to come this next meeting? Because if so I'd need some, you know, information in order to get her there.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 269
uh, does she want to come this next meeting? Because if so I'd need some, you know, information in order to get her there.

Hi Santiago,

Thanks for your reminder and offer.

I left it with her that we would first try with one of our smaller "non-event" meetups that we have been having once in a while in North Dallas, which is a lot closer to her home and would probably make an easier first try for all of us. We'll try to pull this together in a week or so.

-- Todd
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 277
I called our member with may have the onset of Alzheimer's disease and let her know that we would be glad to help her with transportation to visit with us. She was very glad and grateful to hear this, and would like to do so sometime.

Regarding scheduling, however, she is going in for a minor surgery and will not be able to visit with us for at least a few more weeks.

-- Todd
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