Political allies, Reagan, Thatcher and Heston, all stricken down by Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease does not discriminate--it affects the wealthy, the famous, the powerful the same as it affects the poor and obscure
It’s important to remember that Alzheimer’s disease is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world every year. Rich and famous people are also affected. For example, it is noteworthy that all of the individuals in this photograph were stricken down by the disease not that long after the photo was taken.
Margaret Thatcher (left), Ronald Reagan (middle) and Charlton Heston (right) three conservative-minded political allies and friends were all stricken with Alzheimer’s disease some time after this photo was taken. Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom was diagnosed with dementia (likely Alzheimer’s disease), in 2002 and passed away in 2013. Ronald Reagan was a famous western actor and former president of the United States was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994 and lived with the condition for more than a decade before his death in 2004. The actor, Charlton Heston, known for his roles in films like "Ben-Hur" and "The Ten Commandments," was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002 and passed away in 2008.
Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, cared for him for 10 years in his cognitively diminished state before he passed away. She had this to say about the experience:
None of this is easy. None of us know how to do this when [Alzheimer’s] enters our lives. There was a period where I almost felt like I was losing my faith. But ultimately, [my faith] is what grounded me. He opened his eyes the moment before he died and he was present. He showed up before he died. I thought everything I had believed and thought was validated. - Patti Davis
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease usually develop slowly and worsen over time, and may include memory loss, difficulty completing familiar tasks, disorientation, mood and behavior changes, and problems with language. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but neurologists and other healthcare providers have a variety of tools to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
Thanks for reading Alzheimer's Information Bulletin! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.