WGXA's Healthy Living: Local News
Healthy Living: When Alzheimer's Disease Strikes Too Close to Home
Story Updated: May 4, 2012
Alzheimer's is a disease that doesn't just affect the patient but affects the family as well.
I will introduce you to one Alzheimer’s caregiver hit nine times by the disease
Art Silsby is one of the more than 54% of the U.S. population touched in some way by Alzheimer's disease.
"It has been kind of devastating. We have nine people in our family that have it... and it is kind of hard to describe how it affects our family, but it is kind of heartbreaking. “
Art is the primary caretaker for his wife Carol. Carol is a retired educator who took pride in caring for her family and her home. Now the roles are reversed.
“I am now the cook, the dishwasher, the laundryman. I take care of all the chores that she used to do. All the household chores that she used to do, I now do them. I make sure she gets her medicine and stuff like that. “
Despite the help and support they receive from family friends and the Alzheimer's association, the disease's impact on their family is far reaching.
“I think the worst part is that when the time comes. She is not going to recognize me. I think that is going to be the worst part. “
But Art remains hopeful for an Alzheimer's cure.
“ We need to get more money in the program for research. We need to have everybody out there. Even if you don't have it, talk to your representatives, your senator, all that. To see if they can find a cure for this disease. “
Art is very active in the race to find because it is a disease that affects everyone.
"How do you know it is not in your system? How do you know your husband, your wife, and your children. Everybody should be concerned, just like they are about cancer... or any other disease.”