Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is widely feared, and for good reason. It bounces between being the most-feared, and the second-most feared disease for Americans. Perhaps this explains the misinformation spread about the disease, with common myths such as "memory loss is a natural part of the aging process" (nearly sixty percent of people that worldwide) or "only the elderly can get Alzheimer's", they come from a wish to disassociate with the disease. If it's not human, it can't get to you.

Such attitudes are part of the reason the Alzheimer's Association places an emphasis on patient autonomy every year in its World Report, the insistence on their personhood. Alex Ten Napel's portrait series, alzheimer, does similar work. His pictures call to mind words like 'intimate' and 'personal', yet never feel invasive. He tells It's Nice That that before taking their pictures, he "sat at a table in the living room, drank a cup of coffee and had a chat with the residents". On his own page, Napel says he "wanted to show how Alzheimer's affects people's personal life and how it appears on the face. When Alzheimer's has diss

olved the mask of identity you can see human existence right in its face". It can be hard to see th

ourselves and those whose fates we deeply fear, but it's vital if we want to help them.e similarities between