One of our main areas of interest and outreach has been Alzheimer’s prevention. Now with 6.2 million Americans carrying this diagnosis, and no meaningful treatment in sight, exploring how lifestyle choices influence risk is more important than ever.
There is another part of the Alzheimer’s story that is also in need of attention. And this is the impact that this diagnosis has on the families, loved ones, and caregivers involved with Alzheimer’s patients.
No one is prepared for what lies ahead when a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. And I can tell you that not just from the perspective of a neurologist, but from the perspective of my day-to-day interactions with my father who succumbed to the disease.
When Alzheimer’s is diagnosed in a parent or spouse, or in any loved one for that matter, we come face to face with a challenge that forces us to explore our value systems, our thoughts on self-worth, and definitely our family dynamics.
Our guest today, Patti Davis, recounts the panorama of challenges she experienced as her father, President Ronald Reagan, was first diagnosed and then declined with Alzheimer’s disease. Her new book, Floating in the Deep End, is powerfully emotional and at the same time deeply instructional, lovingly gifting important tools to help with the challenges of dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient. This is a circumstance that will affect so many people, and these are incredibly important lessons.
Patti Davis is the author of many books, including The Long Goodbye. Her support group, Beyond Alzheimer’s, is now licensed at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania and Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas. She lives in Santa Monica, California and is available for virtual interviews and events.