EYE ON HEALTH: New faces of Alzheimer's Disease - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

EYE ON HEALTH: New faces of Alzheimer's Disease

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - These couples are part of a group, no one looks forward to joining. They're the new faces of Alzheimer's, those who are in the early stages of the disease.

Amy French, Alzheimer's Association says "Preparation is so very important, we fear what we don't understand, the more they understand, the better they can prepare."

Amy French says that is why they formed this new educational and support group for both the patient and their spouse.  Research has proven with early detection, treatment, and a strong support system they can slow the progression of the disease.

Al Aparicio, Alzheimer's Patient says "We can live with it and we can move ahead knowing some limitations, but it's not the end."

Eileen Aparicio, Al's wife says "We are partners in this it's not just something that happened to him, we love each other."
 
That was the overwhelming sentiment in this group.  

Randall Freer,Alzheimer's Patient says "It's good talking to people that are in the same kind of situation you're in."

As a matter of fact, members of the group say knowing what to expect, and having time to prepare has given them a sense of peace about the future.

Henry Harris, Alzheimer's Patient says "I told it to so many people my wife told me to stop telling people that.  I said I want them to know what's wrong with me if they knew me years ago."

Most of these group members were officially diagnosed about 2-4 years ago.

Jamie Holtzclaw says "I was trying to tell Jimmy something and everything  was in my head, but I couldn't speak it and that scared me."
 
But Jamie like the others in this group along with their spouses, didn't ignore the warning signs.  And while this group is helping them cope with what lies ahead, it doesn't completely take away the fear.

Jimmy Holtzclaw says "Tomorrow she may not know who I am, and I don't want that."

No one knows what tomorrow holds, but these Alzheimer's patients aren't giving in, they are living for today, saying there is hope.
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READ MORE | Alzheimer's Association Tennessee

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