Memory Loss at 52: Pati’s Alzheimer’s Story

Living Healthy Chicago

Pati Hoffman is fighting to preserve her memory.

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What does it feel like when you know you’re fighting a losing battle against time?

These days, Pati Hoffman notices her Alzheimer’s Disease most in moments like this, “I have to go in and check the soap, because I might have just taken a shower.”

But back when she was first diagnosed at 52, the life-hanging news brought unexpected challenges, forcing her having to retire from her job, “Sometimes all of a sudden you’ve just got everywhere papers and boxes and things and then you look at them and you think I don’t what’s in them.”

She said, “The biggest fear was income. How am I going to support myself?”

The reality of Alzheimer’s manifests in these large and small ways—it’s a reality Pati hoped to share with those around her, beginning with a journal. “My son is a teacher and he is a writer, and he bought me this beautiful journal and he says, ‘just write it if something comes to your mind,” she said.

She also enjoyed hearing others’ stories, including on in particular.

The book ‘Still Alice’ depicts the reality of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the movie adaptation, Pati truly sees herself in Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Alice. Which is no surprise, considering she helped prep the star for the role via Skype interview.

One scene in particular truly spoke to her, “When she stood up to speak in the class, that humiliation of oh my gosh, I’m standing up here and I don’t know what I’m going to say. And that’s what I experienced. “

For more of Pati’s experiences, watch her story below:


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