By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Most of us know about the perils of Alzheimer’s disease. It is a slowly progressive problem that leads the patient into a confusing world where they often don’t know who they are or who their loved ones are. Couples married 50 years or more are separated by forgotten memories and distant stares. Perhaps the most devastating aspect of Alzheimer’s is the fact that the person who has memory intact is the one who seems to suffer the most and that is the point of today’s report.

If you are a person who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease it is important that you take care of yourself. In my practice I have seen it again and again. It is the loved one who provides care but who ultimately has their own health damaged. In fact, in many cases they die before their loved one.
You do not need to feel guilty about doing things yourself. Remember you need a break. There is a book that was written many years ago that is as true today as it was when it was written. It is called The 36-Hour Day and explains in at least a small way what loved ones go through.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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