I saw Meryl Streep’s portrayal of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in movie THE IRON LADY. It’s not surprising to me that her portrayal is causing a great stir. Ms Thatcher presently has dementia and Streep tackles getting inside the mind of Thatcher utterly flawlessly. There’s not one nuance out of place of Streep’s enactment of a person with dementia along with a person who once was so powerful and visible on the global stage of history.
I have read where Ronald Reagan’s son Ronald Reagan Jr disapproved of Thatcher’s daughter Carol’s biography on her Mother with very candid details on her dementia. Well I disapprove of Reagan Jr disapproval because he thinks Carol exploits her mother’s private matter of dementia. Having dementia is not a disgrace; it’s a brain disease, which needs to be explored in order to develop knowledge to see if any remedy is at hand. Sugarcoating dementia by keeping it closeted leads nowhere of dealing with its insidious reality.
Reagan Jr’s dad former President Reagan made his own public announcement of his dementia, which his brain disease was commonly labeled as Alzheimer. As American aging population lives longer the percentage of dementia is forever on the increase.
I too, live with a person with dementia. He is the well-known poet and critic and former Victorian Scholar Robert Peters. He’s been my beloved companion for almost forty years. He developed signs of dementia for at least ten years. He’s been taking namenda and aricept drugs for his dementia for some time now. I believe these drugs have kept the progression of Robert’s dementia at bay where he still can be a jolly fellow without any concern of his plight. It’s my job to protect him from harm’s way. Comparing notes with other caretakers of how to deal with dementia is definitely therapeutic.
Meryl Streep, Carol Thatcher or I owe no apologies for sharing the world of dementia because it is here with us with a vengeance.