Raised Awareness of the Alzheimer's Disease in The Notebook
I want to write that I loved this book because my best friend and I growing up have always watched The Notebook and we always cry and say we hope we find that love. Never once have we said that anything about alzheimers. The book sensitizes the disease and employs memory loss and flashbacks as elements to develop a love story between Allie and Noah. This book paints an unrealistic picture of Alzheimer’s and makes it seems as if you can read a story and the person will remember the last 30 years. Yes there are lucid moments, but not for as long a depicted. In this story the book undermines the ability of doctors and demoralizes nurses.
We all know the story of The Notebook. Allie and Noah share an unhealthy relationship of fighting but at the end of the day love prevailed through. Set in a pre and post World War II era, Noah and Allie share an extraordinary summer together. Noahs is a lot different than Allie in many ways, including their upbringings. Allie grew up what I would consider rich whereas Noah grew up somewhat poor. Allies parents convince Allie that Noah is no good for her and they break up. Noah writes to her everyday for a year but Allies mom keeps the letters from her. Eventually they meet up as young adults and profess their love for each other. After Noah went into the war he restored an old farmhouse and the newspaper did an article on it, which catches Allies eye. Allie goes to see him, even though she has a fiance, and they end up reuniting. Then Allie has to decide between the two men in her life. The story ends by the two older people in the nursing home by an old man reading an old woman a “story” from a notebook, which ends up its Allies life. Allie remembers but the reader is left with the question of who the old man is thats reading to her.
The Notebook may increase awareness of the disease but doesn’t show the heartbreak that follows. The book makes it seem as if caregiving for a person with this illness is easy. Although it does talk about the scene where Allie forgets who the person whos reading to her is when they are dancing to an old song, it shows how heartbreaking the disease is and how the nurse has to come in and ask the older man to leave to let Allie settle. We assume the older man is Noah and for him to realistically live with Allie at the nursing home she is at is just beyond financially capable. He would have to pay for two different apartments as well as two different bills for every bill. It would be practically impossible. A study from the University of Minnesota was done and they say that 1 in 10 family caregivers are spouses and only 11% visit their relatives in the nursing home (Tornatore & Grant 2004). With Noah having “24 hour” visitation is unrealistic. The study also says that 44% of primary family caregivers have full time jobs and 18% work part time, also that typically caregivers are children not spouses (Tornatore & Grant 2004). In The Notebook Allies children only visit once and don’t even make an effort to talk all that much to her. The setting of Allies care is not very accurate. It sounds as if she has nice furniture and by a lake. 90% of nursing homes in the US are understaffed (‘Nursing Home Statistics’ 2013).
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