Today is the World Alzheimer's Day. A disease that, if we do not live it closely, is present to us with lightning: like a small flash of lucidity, which carries a thunderous noise. In Spain, according to the Spanish Alzheimer's Confederation (CEAFA), there are 800,000 cases of this disease. A reality that can touch us like this or that, but that needs to be explained to society.
Therefore, we have brought together two voices that, in some way, have lived with this disease. On the one hand, Ana Urrutia She is a doctor and president of the Dignos Care Foundation. In his book, ‘Look after’, Gathers real cases of treatments received by elderly people in specialized centers. His message arises through small stories: we must change the way we care for this sector of the population. Enough of paternalisms and tools, such as fasteners. A very compromised reality of this disease.
On the other hand, we also wanted to give voice to someone who has suffered the disease closely. Nuria Gago, actress and writer, included in her book, ‘Love me forever’(Winner of the 2018 Azorín Novel Award), Alzheimer's as one of the characters. Its protagonist is Lu, a girl who returns to Barcelona after spending several years living in Paris. He will then begin to take care of Marina, an elderly woman, always aware of her sister Maria, who has Alzheimer's disease. Gago had encountered the disease in his family: his grandmother suffered it. His is a tender and introspective claim.
Ana Urrutia interview
"If the model does not change, we will suffer, to some extent, what these people are suffering."
Why was it necessary to write the book ‘Take care’?
What I have intended to do with the book is to write case studies, and to demonstrate that another way of caring for our patients is possible. A different from the one we had used so far. I see deficiencies in the way we take care of older people in general. Although very especially to people with dementia. In that sense, I think we have to change the model. ‘Take care’ what it does is tell the population that this change is possible.
How is the narrative approach to real cases of Alzheimer's?
What he intended was to make short stories, like short stories, but that really tell the reality. To make it attractive to the reader. So that it is not a technical book made only for professionals. All the stories of ‘Caring’ are real stories, although I have changed people's names. Sometimes even sex. What I have not changed are the diseases that these people suffered, or how the process was. Introduce certain aspects in an entertaining and attractive way. Through the story I try to expose some of the work tools that I use.
Nuria Gago interview
“My friends saved me from the most absolute pain by helping me accompany my grandmother.”
Why did you decide to introduce a disease like Alzheimer's in your book?
I think it is very important to make visible the reality of Alzheimer's, I think that literature and art in general, have the obligation to represent their society in full and that it is necessary to hear stories of all kinds for as a reader / reader, to feel that they speak of you. Alzheimer's is a disease that affects many people and there are many people taking care of them who do an incredible job, both family and specialized staff, Old age is hidden in these days when beauty and youth bombard us in every way, so I think we have to give it its place.
How is a disease treated from fiction?
With all possible respect, documenting you very well and trying to reflect with all the love and accuracy possible the reality of that disease, to make the story you write a true window of communication between people who read it and those who live That reality daily.