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Think Out Loud

Living with Alzheimer's Disease

Pete Springer/OPB

Sometimes it’s hard for Wendy Bond to visit her aunt who’s had Alzheimer’s disease for about 15 years now. One reason is because, although her aunt is healthy, she no longer knows Wendy’s name when she visits. It’s also hard because her aunt looks a lot like her mother, who passed away after having Alzheimer’s for a number of years. Wendy still makes it to see her aunt a couple times a month — sometimes though it feels like she has to put on armor to do it.

Wendy is on the board of the Oregon chapter of the Alzheimer’s association. The group runs support groups and offers several classes in any given month. She says she’ll often take a class twice — once to cry her way through it and the second time to actually get the information. Yesterday, we talked about some of the advances in Alzheimer’s research. Today, we’re asking how people who are personally affected by Alzheimer’s cope.

Are you helping care for a person who has Alzheimer’s? What kind of help are you getting to help you cope? What kind of help do you need? Are you dealing with memory loss or another cognitive issue that could be a precursor to the disease?

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