What It's Like To Live With Early-Stage Alzheimer's

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With guest host Jane Clayson

We look at how one woman prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

This show originally aired May 3, 2016. 

Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it. Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

It’s alarming. You forget which key opens the car door. Leave the stove on. Get lost taking a walk around the block. Alzheimer’s Disease can turn basic tasks into daunting ones. The New York Times’ N.R. Kleinfield spent 20 months with one woman in the early stages of the disease as she tried to make sense of it all and live her best life. This hour On Point: A journey inside Alzheimer’s Disease. -Jane Clayson


N.R Kleinfield, metro reporter for the New York Times. His latest piece for the Times is A Fraying at the Edges of her Life.

Maureen Matthews, nurse and psychotherapist, director of the Early Memory Loss Program at the Stamford Counseling Center. Founder of To Whom I May Concernan interactive theater program to give voice to people who have recently been diagnosed with a progressive brain illness.

From The Reading List

A Fraying at the Edges — "A withered person with a scrambled mind,
memories sealed away: That is the familiar face of Alzheimer’s. But there is also the waiting period, which Geri Taylor has been navigating with prudence, grace and hope." (New York Times)

What is Alzheimer's Disease? — "Just because you forgot an item on your grocery list doesn’t mean you are developing dementia. Most people have occasional memory lapses, which increase with age. The memory problems that characterize warning signs of Alzheimer’s are usually more frequent, and they begin to interfere with safe or competent daily functioning: forgetting to turn off the stove, leaving home without being properly dressed or forgetting important appointments." (New York Times)

Learn You Have Alzheimer’s, Then Invite a Reporter to Tail You? Really? — "One challenge of writing about Alzheimer’s in its first stage is its invisibility. Its effect is vivid near the end. Not in the beginning. It’s internal. One of the frustrations that Ms. Taylor and others have is that when they reveal their condition to people, they are told, “You don’t seem like there’s anything wrong,” as if they were playing a prank." (New York Times)

This program aired on December 27, 2017.


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