what's your name?
My name is Leslie Gregory.
Where are you from?
I'm from Florida in the United States.
Do you live in the United States now?
No, I don't. I live in Tokyo, Japan.
Oh, really! So I guess you're away from your family then?
Yes, I am. I'm away from my mother.
Oh, you're mother. Well, tell us about your mother.
Well, my mother is currently an Alzheimer's patient. She lives in an assisted-living,
which is a place where
older people, old people, who have, who cannot take care of themselves
go to get help to take care of
OK. Let's back up a little bit. For those who don't know what
Alzheimer's is, can you tell us?
Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease of the brain. I'm not exactly sure
what happens but I know that as the person
gets older, their short term memory decreases, but somehow their long
term memory stays intact, so that means that
they can't remember anything that they've done recently but that they
can remember things from 30 years ago.
OK, well, how about telling us about how your mother lives in
that assisted-living establishment?
OK. Well, basically, my mother has her own room, right. Some assisted
living have each patient, has
their own apartment, and then some, they only have their own room. My
mother has her own room, and
then she has a cafeteria where she can eat or an activity room where she
can meet other residents.
OK, how about your interactions with your mother?
My interactions with my mother unfortunately are very few because I only
see her two times a year.
One of the problems with Alzheimer's disease is if the patient doesn't
see a person for a long time
they can forget who they are, and if I don't see my mother in less than
six months then she has trouble
recalling my name. She knows who I am. She knows I'm her daughter, but
usually she calls me by another
OK, is there anything else you can say about Alzheimer's, or give
people who have relatives
with Alzheimer's or concerned about Alzheimer's, can you give them any
Yes, the best advice I've been given is that Alzheimer's patients sometimes
have problems with paranoia.
This is my mother's biggest problem. Right! And it causes her to panic.
It's really difficult for those of
who have parents or loved ones with Alzheimer's because they tend to tell
us the same things or, they tend
to be angry because they don't understand what's happening to them, so
the best advice I've been given
is always tell an Alzheimer's patient when they're panicky or upset that
you understand, you understand what
they're thinking, or why they're acting the way they are. You don't have
to necessarily say, OK, I'm going
to take care of this problem and here's how I'm going to do it, but to
let them know that they're OK. Things
are OK, and you understand.
Thank you for that. That was very informative.