Living with MCI can be fraught with frustrations. Learning to use new technology, keeping track of medications, or even driving a car can feel challenging in unprecedented ways. But Carl does not let these difficulties define him. Early in life, he left a burgeoning career in banking to become a juvenile probation officer. Though driven by a desire make a difference, his motivations were far from grandiose. “If you can help one other person,” he says, “that’s pretty good.”
Today, Carl continues to find ways to give back by participating in medical research studies, which has provided him with a sense of purpose and community. Getting involved in studies ranging from Parkinson’s disease to sleep disorders has, in his wife’s words, “done more for him than the medication that he takes… because it gives him hope for the future,” even if there are no direct benefits to Carl himself.
In addition to his interests in medical research, Carl is an avid appreciator of art and music. Over the years, he has developed a particular fondness for Asian art. “There is a certain peace, serenity, and calmness that exists in Asian art that doesn’t exist in large parts of Western art,” he says. “I look towards art for that kind of pleasure.” Music can be similarly therapeutic for Carl, who likes to use Pandora Radio for hard-to-find tracks. Unlike his focused taste in art, however, his enjoyment of music spans many genres, including everything from Jefferson Airplane, Phillip Glass, to Olatunji Drums of Passion.
Citing the company of his family and loved ones as “the best medicine out there,” Carl reflects, “As life goes on the goal remains the same, it’s to stay alive, but the players change constantly… If you can go through life and constantly meet new friends and have new relationships and hopefully they’re positive ones, so much the better.”