The Forgetting

  • Hosted by David Shenk and Greg O'Brien

The Forgetting: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s is WCAI’s podcast entirely focused on Alzheimer’s disease. The twice-monthly podcast is co-hosted by two well-respected Alzheimer’s experts, David Shenk and Greg O’Brien.

O’Brien was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, at age 59. The podcast highlights the friendship of Shenk and O’Brien, while documenting O’Brien’s experience as the disease symptoms become more pronounced.

The conversations are geared toward people with the disease, as well as caregivers, friends and loved ones. In addition to discussing O'Brien's day-to-day life with Alzheimer’s and the tactics he uses to cope, the podcast also features guest interviews.

The earliest conversations date from 2015. Subsequent episodes of the podcast follow O'Brien's journey with the disease to the present day. 

David Shenk is author of The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s, Portrait of an Epidemic
Greg O’Brien is author of On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s.

Executive Producer: Sean Corcoran
Producer: Steve Junker

Listen to all the episodes below on this page.
Or subscribe to the podcast using one of these links:

iTunes          GooglePlay           Stitcher

 

In a Place Like This

Mar 15, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 6

Greg talks about caregivers, and how it’s never just one person who has Alzheimer’s, but the whole family. Greg tells a story about being so filled with rage, he crossed a street without caring to even look for cars. Working out at the gym still helps Greg. And David asks Greg about why he continues to talk about “checking out,” and what he means by it.

This episode was recorded February 2, 2017.

Keywords: caregiver; rage; exit strategy; confession.

Without the Filter

Mar 1, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 5

Greg feels that he's becoming more like Larry David, blurting out his thoughts and feelings. Another problem at airport security: Greg throws a shoe. An outburst at the Harvard Club. Why humor helps. A discussion of Glen Campbell with his wife Kim, who talks about how her faith helped while caring for Glen through his Alzheimer's disease.    

Becoming Grandpa

Jan 28, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 4

Greg talks about how he often doesn't recognize people he knows. Greg gets upset when his first grandchild is being born, and his older sister sets him straight. Greg gets lost in his hotel. And while giving a speech, Greg senses a woman standing behind him on stage giving him support.

This episode was recorded November 22, 2016.

Keywords: faking it; alone on a bus; caregivers.

The No Fly List

Jan 27, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 3

David takes away Greg's laptop. Greg talks about ongoing rage issues and how his anger almost put him on the federal no-fly list. Greg says that in some ways Alzheimer's has given him a purpose. Greg no longer has confidence in himself; but he has confidence in his soul and his heart.

This episode was recorded June 1, 2016.

Keywords: pity; being late; 100 bucks.

The Mistaken Kiss

Jan 26, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 2

Greg talks about a humiliating experience that's becoming more common. He discusses how he tries to conceal his symptoms (what he calls "the train wreck"), because he doesn't want people's sympathy. Greg mistakenly kisses a girl he does not know. And Greg explains to David why he must blurt things out and talk over people when he has a thought.

With special guest Dr. Rudy Tanzi.

This episode was recorded November 20, 2015. 

Keywords: snowflakes; exit strategy; gorgeous girl.

Introductions

Jan 25, 2019

The Forgetting podcast: Episode 1

In the first episode of The Forgetting, we meet Greg O'Brien and David Shenk. We  hear about Greg's long history with Alzheimer's, including taking care of family members with the disease before his own symptoms came on. Greg's friends joke about him owing them money. And Greg makes a promise to his mother.

With special guest Jed Levine.

This episode was recorded September 10, 2015.

Keywords: rage; humor; hope.