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Barry and Mary call themselves a "family of three," and while Jan doesn't understand the new family configuration (nor did she consent to it) she is happy with their continued visits to her in the care facility. Current statistics indicate that 80 percent of persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease are cared for at home.Deciding whether or not to move on into a new relationship is an intensely personal decision and I believe that, the longer we live (it is predicted that Gen Xers will live an average of 100 years), the more we will have to come to terms with these types of dilemmas. There are about 11 million non-professional Alzheimer's caregivers in the United States.You wrote, 'They are technically married, however the person they married is no longer "there".' If they are not there, where are they? If you are declared brain dead are you no longer a “person”.Objectifying a person suffering from Alzheimer's in this way is a form of vilification. You could have, and should have chosen your words more carefully. For example, my mother was diagnosed with probably Alzheimer's disease seven years ago. I agree with you, Alzheimer's caregiving is an intense, difficult, personal choice. Bob De Marco Alzheimer's Reading Room actually the larger issue… It’s the abortion and Terry Schiavo dilemma all over again. I have a friend who is in his 50’s and suffers from debilitating MS.
I met my current partner on the "men seeking women" heading of the personal ads on Craigslist. I am appropriately not a focal point of their lives. His children are in there 20's, unmarried, and in constant contact with their father.Symptoms can be mild (some memory loss, getting lost, and trouble handling money), moderate (continued memory loss, confusion and trouble recognizing family members) to severe (unable to communicate, completely dependent on others).The healthy spouses of those with Alzheimer's Disease are in a particular quandary.AARP recently aired a show entitled, The Long Goodbye, about a man named Barry Peterson whose wife, Jan, had Alzheimer's.It was when Barry's mother-in-law (Jan's mother) encouraged Barry to move on with his life that, while shocking to him initially, was also a relief and got him thinking about opening the door to a new partner.