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Overwhelming Need

August 24, 1986

A new day care center in Escondido designed "to give freedom to those held in bondage" by Alzheimer's disease is cause for jubilation ("Alzheimer's Care Center Helps 'Those in Bondage,' " July 18).

It is another vital step on the road to relief for families suffering stress and torment created by that devastating disease. The needs for support of the families of Alzheimer's patients are almost equal to the needs of the patients.

It is said that Alzheimer's disease robs the mind of the victim and steals the heart of the family. This insidious plundering of head and heart saps strength and stamina. Families, the loving care givers, are at risk in direct proportion to the progression of the illness.

Only a week ago, our beloved father escaped from the confusion, frustration and terror of Alzheimer's, through death. As he relaxed his grip on our fingers and his life, the torment on his face disappeared. We, his children, shared those final moments with the wonderful, loving and loyal aides who provided Dad with tender care and support and who had provided us with relief and respite.

The opening of an Alzheimer's Family Center, as a support system for both patient and family, is an act to celebrate and support. We attest to the fact that the need is overwhelming.

AGNES G. HERMAN

Lake San Marcos

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