On origami, Alzheimer’s & kindness: Global health expert Alanna Shaikh rethinks preparing for dementia

can one actually prepare for this?

TED Blog

Alanna Shaikh at TED2013, a year after her powerful talk about Alzheimer's disease. Alanna Shaikh at TED2013, about six months after giving a powerful talk about Alzheimer’s disease and the three strategies she was putting in place in case she should ever get it. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED

Global health expert Alanna Shaikh gave an unexpected and moving talk at TEDGlobal 2012, called “How I’m preparing to get Alzheimer’s.” In it, she told the story of her father’s struggle with the disease, and outlined some strategies she’d devised in case dementia struck her later in life, too. The TED Blog was curious: How is her experiment going?

While most of Shaikh’s goals haven’t exactly gone as planned, in the process, she’s had a lightbulb moment about how to think about dementia—and learned to be a better person, to boot. Here, a conversation about the relationship between kindness and health, and living an enjoyable life in the present while planning for the future.

What have you been up to since your talk went…

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