Obliged to deliver the kind of performance demanded of a top athlete: that’s the position those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease suddenly find themselves in. A new campaign developed by mortierbrigade for Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen pictures an Alzheimer’s patient as a boxer. One who has no choice but to fight every day. Not against an opponent, but against himself.
An exhausting fight
Paul, who is the face of the campaign, received his Alzheimer’s diagnosis at the age of 65. He shares with us what his fight involves:
“I know that a time will come when I’m still here, but there’ll be almost nothing left of me. This is the version of myself I need to fight against every day. Because if I lose heart and don’t take good care of myself, then tomorrow I might wake up as the Paul I don’t want to become.”
Joost Berends, Partner & Executive Creative Director at mortierbrigade, says:
“Although campaigns about Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia often focus on people suffering from the disease, they are seldom allowed to speak for themselves. We opted to put them centre stage in this campaign, so they could describe the heavy toll their fight takes on them from personal experience.”
Most people associate Alzheimer’s disease with memory problems and confusion. But other life-changing consequences are also part of the clinical picture: a permanently altered personality, loss of speech, and total dependence upon a carer. The latter, generally the partner or a child, becomes enmeshed in a demanding everyday reality.
Rudy Poedts, Director of Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen vzw, continues:
“In Belgium there are around 200,000 people fighting against themselves. And that figure is growing every year. Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen aims to ease the struggle for them and their carers. We are the driving force behind a range of initiatives that help preserve the quality of life of those affected. In order to make this possible, we are entirely dependent upon donations. And with the abolition of the duo legacy, we have lost more than 60% of our organisation’s income.”
Abolition of the duo legacy
As of 1 July 2021, it is no longer possible to save on inheritance tax in Flanders using the duo legacy system. Prior to this, there was the option of spreading an estate across an heir and a charity such as Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen. The resulting fiscal advantage for the heir was the main reason why many people made use of the duo legacy.
“This has resulted in a significant loss of funds for supporting people with Alzheimer’s in the exhausting battle they have to fight every day. That’s why this campaign was necessary. We truly need the support of the Flemish people. Alzheimer’s disease is by far the most common cause of dementia. This is about our parents and grandparents. We cannot simply abandon them to their fate. Whether you make a small or a larger donation, you’re already making a huge difference” – Rudy Poedts
The campaign includes a film that will be shown in cinemas and disseminated online, as well as radio and print advertisements, and collaborations with influencers.
Those wishing to support the activities of Alzheimer Liga Vlaanderen with a donation can do so via www.steunhetgevecht.be of by texting ‘VECHT’ to the number 4666. For every text message, 1 euro will automatically be donated to the organisation.