Jun 272017
 
Maintaining Independence in the Face of Disease

On more than one occasion, when I was a young boy, my grandmother roamed the streets of Washington, D.C. at night. One night she was picked up by the police, and ultimately placed in a home with others “like her.” Back then, these types of events were attributed to old age and senility.  Today, my mother is living with Alzheimer’s disease – just like my aunt and grandmother. And at the age of 66, I […]

Jun 132017
 
A Proud Father with Alzheimer’s Walks His Daughter Down the Aisle

The fact that my dad even knows who Matt is feels quite incredible. My dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease 11 years ago, and my husband Matt came into our lives just three years ago. What makes my heart soar is how they’ve become best buddies. My dad still lives at home with my mom, his soulmate turned full-time caregiver. While he cannot be left alone, dress himself, buckle his seatbelt, or even open […]

May 312017
 
Letting the Light In with Actress and Alzheimer’s Champion Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Known for her role as Annie Banks in the 1991 Steve Martin film “Father of the Bride” (with enviable, perfect hair), the television series “Nashville” and wife of country music superstar Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley is the author of “Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again,” which chronicles her mother Linda’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Linda passed away in November of last year. Now available in paperback, Kimberly’s book shines a […]

May 162017
 
Cycling the Distance for Dad on The Longest Day

The Longest Day is all about love! On the summer solstice, people select any activity they love — or an activity loved by those affected by Alzheimer’s disease — to help raise funds and awareness to help end Alzheimer’s. Two sisters from Decorah, Iowa are fighting to end Alzheimer’s  on behalf of their father Dale, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 57. Most of Brecka and Shanna’s The Longest Day teammates are honoring […]

May 112017
 
Bringing Home the Gold for Mom

Winning a gold medal last August in the 2016 Olympics is a moment I will never forget. I wanted to go home that night. All I could think was: “I need to get back to Arkansas. I need to fly home to see my mom.” Of course there were two more weeks to spend in Rio after my event – and the closing ceremonies to attend – but all I could think about was being […]

Jan 132017
 
Rings on Her Fingers

My dad and I tried to take Mom’s rings off today, but we had no success. In addition to her wedding and engagement ring, Mom wears four other rings, each one tightly hugging her fingers, so much so that even with liberal amounts of lubrication, the rings do not come off. She’s been wearing them for so long that her fingers have shaped themselves around the rings. Mom has gained weight and her fingers are […]

Dec 132016
 
Celebrate the Season By Being True to Yourself

I was a college professor and nurse with my doctorate in education when I started having memory problems that were concerning me. Students had complained of inconsistent homework assignments, and my son Dan noticed that I was repeating myself in our phone conversations. Then one day while giving a speech in Washington D.C. about medical ethics, I totally blanked about where I was and why I was there – in the middle of my speech. […]

Nov 142016
 
Finding Joy in the Face of Alzheimer’s: Richard Lui Talks Family & Long-Distance Caregiving

We sat down to talk with Richard Lui, news anchor for NBC and MSNBC and long-distance caregiver for his father, who is living with Alzheimer’s. Every week, Richard travels coast-to-coast to be with his family. Tell us about your father Steven’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and how it came about. It began with a diagnosis of dementia. The interesting part is my Dad never had a great memory – it was something we joked about. However, what […]

Nov 102016
 
Walking for the First Survivor of Alzheimer’s

2016 marks the 5th year I have walked in Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year, I was lucky to walk with friends and family, but there is one person I wish could walk with me – and I simultaneously realize that if she was here, I wouldn’t have the same compelling reason to walk. That person is my mom. When I was 15, my mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 50. […]

Oct 212016
 
Remembering Mom: A Daughter’s Story

Our mother came from Portugal after marrying our father in 1958. She didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. She followed the love of her life and they raised a beautiful family. They taught me the meaning of true love, loyalty and dedication to family and friends. Our father passed away in 2000, after 42 wonderful years of marriage. Although she had us kids and grandchildren as a distraction, she had a void that […]

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