November 27, 2006 |
JOE WOLF still remembers his wife, Joanne, as a healthy 18-year-old with long brown hair and a '61 Chevy. They met through a social group at a Presbyterian church. They got married and had two children. These days, he trims and curls Joanne's hair, because she no longer is able to do it herself. He brushes her teeth. He helps her dress. He cooks, cleans and drives her in a specially equipped van to the gym, where she battles the debilitating effects of two strokes.
November 5, 2001 |
Some of Dorothy Traver's childhood memories involve her and her sister, Jeanne Harrigan, doing typical kids' stuff, like watching cartoons or tearing open presents on Christmas morning. Plenty of other recollections, however, involve Dorothy playing a more maternal role with Jeanne, who's just 11 months her junior. Dorothy remembers, for instance, helping Jeanne get dressed or guiding her across the street. Today at age 52, Traver, who lives in Wheaton, Ill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2007 |
Each morning Frances Chavis sneaks out of her house for 6 a.m. prayer, hoping to get back before her husband wakes up. Chavis, whose husband Lemuel, 72, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003, spends her days as a "shadow" -- watching over her husband and the house, making sure everything is done correctly -- and, when she can, she naps. And every morning, after about two hours in church in the Crenshaw area, she returns to her home with the motivation and strength to go on.
March 11, 1999 |
Susan Gollas inherited her family's farm in Sacramento County when her father died, recompense for the 13 years she cared for him while his health deteriorated. Seven months later, Gollas opened her mail to find a bill for $120,000 from the state to repay Medi-Cal for subsidizing her father's final two years in a nursing home. Dorothy Muscari's mother, deaf and mute, begged her to move west from Illinois after Muscari's father died in 1963. The two women bought a house together in Salinas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2001 |
After 6,800 miles, the cab fare from New York City to Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood was about $10,760. It's a good thing the sole passenger will not have to pay. By the time this road trip ends in Washington, D.C., in a couple of weeks, the fare will be about $25,000. Social activist Theresa Funiciello is on a mission to heighten awareness of tax benefits for caregivers. From Detroit, to Cheyenne, Wyo.
April 3, 2006 |
Yolanda Spencer is eternally grateful for the weekly visits from fellow members of the Bethel AME Church. Without them, she's not sure how she would have survived the eight years since her husband, Vincent, now 62, fell off a ladder and became a quadriplegic. An accident such as Vincent's "is such a devastating thing to happen to a family," Yolanda said. The Spencers' relatives live far away, but, she said, members from the Jamaica Plain, Mass., church have been "really, really supportive."
August 2, 1999 |
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, affects an estimated 4 million Americans. It will strike one in 10 of those 65 and older, and half of those 85 and older. The neurological disease usually begins with forgetfulness and the inability to remember familiar skills, such as balancing a checkbook. It progresses to serious memory loss, disorientation, confusion and irritability as well as changes in behavior, such as a tendency to wander.
August 2, 1999 |
In the neat back bedroom of a one-story home in Bell, Josefina Perez's face contorts as she coughs--once, twice, three times. Her eyes are clenched with the distress of pneumonia ushered in by the late-stage Alzheimer's disease that has made it nearly impossible to swallow, speak, care for herself.
May 29, 1995 |
Millions of Americans live in the shadow of sickness. They are not afflicted with Alzheimer's nor have they suffered a stroke or other debilitating illness. Yet sickness has intimately embraced their lives. When Mom can no longer remember her children's names or how to use a spoon or say "I love you"--these family members step in to help. When a spouse becomes too infirm to live alone, family is there.