On July 2, USA Today reported that more than 20 former employees of a Georgia Alzheimer's care center are facing dozens of criminal charges after a three-month state investigation uncovered allegations of cruel treatments of patients.
My mother had a cleft palate. It was fixed when she was three years-old, and you could never tell anything was wrong by looking at her, but it left her with two impediments: her speech and her mother.
Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? - M. J. B. in Oakland, Calif.
A shameless rogue with a conscience that must have been surgically removed at birth, "Dallas" character JR Ewing was envied, loved, despised, almost killed, and yet he was impossible to resist.
It occurs to me that my mother never told us some basics about what she wanted should she ever have Alzheimer's. True, few people think in those terms, but since both my grandmother and mother had Alzheimer's, there's a good chance I will be next. So, here's my first list for my husband, daughter and son:
For years I was a sitcom writer; my shows were always in prime time. I have been writing voices for Designing Women, Family Ties, Kate and Allie. Yup, that's me - except not really. They have been what Julia Sugarbaker would assert on her soapbox, what Alex Keaton would wisecrack to his way-too-liberal parents, what Kate would say supportively to Allie. I would give them lines, but they were never my voice. That's the trick to writing for others on TV: you write in the characters' voices.
The Alzheimer's Party. Haven't heard of it? Well, you ought to familiarize yourself with it; there is an election in less than three months and our existence may well depend on it. Is Alzheimer's an atom bomb that will destroy us? Well, in a way, yes. And this is our chance to disarm it. Together, those with Alzheimer's and those who care for them are a party of 20 million strong. As the Alzheimer's Party, we cannot be ignored.
It's easy to pick Sargent Shriver out of a picture. The rule of thumb is this: if ninety-nine people look solemn and there is only one person smiling, that person is inevitably Sargent Shriver. And if those people in the picture could come alive for, say, ten minutes, you could come back and find ninety-nine more people smiling. So what does he know that the others don't? He knew how to embrace the joy of life. In short, he was contagious.
This last weekend was my mom's birthday. She would have been 100 years old. Or maybe 90. It was hard to tell with her. What my mom had told me when I was growing up was that she married at the young age of 18 - straight out of high school. I had no reason to doubt it since she was my mom and, of course, she told the truth.
Editor's note: Last week, the Obama Administration released its final National Plan to Address Alzheimer's. This is the first-ever national plan and road map against Alzheimer's, and it includes a bold goal of stopping the disease by 2025 -- marking the first time the federal government has adopted such a time frame. Trish's husband, George Vradenburg, Chairman of the national campaign organization USAgainstAlzheimer's, is a member of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services, which was convened by HHS. The Council met over the past several months to offer input during the planning process, and provided the Administration and Congress with 36 recommendations for the National Plan last month. Trish recently sat down with George to talk about the importance of the plan and what needs to happen to make it a success.
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