In “Shriver family gave voice to ‘silent epidemic’,” Bill Thomas, Erickson School professor, commented in the Baltimore Sun on the Shriver family’s efforts to change the public perception of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver, who passed away January 18, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003. What the Shrivers focused on, said Thomas, was “normalizing this disease.” He continued, “It is important for people of stature, like the Shrivers, to step into the light and to be seen and to tell their story, because so many other people feel like they can’t do that.” Thomas discussed the challenge of the disease’s frequent invisibility, which can be a barrier to diagnosis and treatment. “The advocacy shows this is a common disease and we need to screen for it,” he said.
The article was reprinted in the LA Times.