Stem Cells, Alzheimer's, the Search for Hope (cont.)
My mom has Alzheimer's now. I don't need to tell you how sad this is. I guess
the research is more to help future victims, right? I know that's a good thing
to do, but it's so hard on my family and me.
You have my sympathy. I know how difficult this is. Just remember that even when
your mother no longer understands your words, even when she no longer recognizes
you, that she can still feel love and you can still provide it.
Do you have any tips on how to celebrate holidays with a parent in this
situation? I don't mean to trivialize it but we're having difficult time dealing
with my mom and the holidays are heightening it.
Holidays are about family, about friends, and about love. Provide plenty of the
above, but especially love.
How do you support the person caring for someone with Alzheimer's?
That depends on their circumstances. Simply be as helpful as you can. I know
that sounds like a lame answer, but it's hard to be more specific without
knowing the particulars.
Do you have any concerns about developing the disease yourself?
Because my father and both grandmothers and my father's brother all had
Alzheimer's, I am at considerable risk myself. Hopefully, by the time I reach
the age where this is a concern, a cure or treatment, even a vaccine, may be
available. For now, I try not to worry about it.
Alzheimer's Association is here to support and assist those with Alzheimer's and
their families: 1-800-272-3900 and www.alz.org. Ask them what help they need,
and then provide it, whatever it is. Time, presence, comfort, and support are
all welcomed, as is a break from the responsibilities of caregiving.
We are almost out of time, Ron. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have
any final words for us?
For all those people who are suffering with diseases or who have friends and
loved ones who are suffering, know that there are people out here fighting for
you and that we will continue to fight.
Our thanks to Ron Reagan for joining us. For more information, please check out
the links on our web site for stem cell research and visit the condition centers
for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
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