Fernando Aguzzoli Peres
Journalist and writer + host of the dementia researcher research perspectives podcast
Place of work / study:
Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), Trinity College Dublin, International Longevity Centre Brazil (ILC-BR), Aliança Demência Brasil (ADB)
Area of Research:
Storytelling and Dementia Knowledge Translation
How is your work funded?
I currently have a project on the clinical communication impact on dementia patients funded by GBHI, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s UK. Other projects such as lecture tours, awareness campaigns, and other projects are funded by private companies. My books belong to the publishing group Cia das Letras in Brazil and Quipu in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am the author of 5 books on dementia launched in Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay with over 300,000 copies sold. But everything begun when I decided to drop out of Philosophy School to become the end-of-life guardian for my grandmother living with Alzheimer’s Disease. After finding out that our journey could be much more spectacular than what the mainstream media was telling me, I decided to do it differently…and share it!
I was the first Brazilian to share Alzheimer’s day-by-day on social media, normalizing the experience and breaking the stigma of dementia nationally. My social media and web pages gather more than 200,000 followers on several platforms, and over 2 million views in two YouTube channels approaching Alzheimer’s in an informal and practical way aimed at caregivers.
My biggest goal is to show that Alzheimer’s is not the end, and those who care can also live an incredible adventure while playing this important role. There’s always a lot to do, although we cannot cure those we love sometimes, we can be part of something way bigger in the last chapter of their life.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Be prepared: I don’t drink coffee. Never did. Also, I am a complete workaholic, in love with the TV series Friends, and have two tattoos for Harry Potter’s movies. Oh, also crazy about cleaning the house! Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t be my friend haha
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
When I was a teenager I had to face the life-changing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for my grandmother and our entire family. I had to relearn and redefine meanings for concepts about aging, life, death, truth, lies, and many others. I experienced the frustration of not being able to cure her, so I decided to spend the rest of my life devoting efforts to show that it is possible to find an active role, to overcome Alzheimer’s every day, and even to laugh a lot in the process!
Can we find you on Twitter?