A ray of light in dementia’s long shadow

Joe Foley, a retired college English professor, confided to his doctor that he was “leaking vocabulary,” struggling to find the right words. The diagnosis in April 2013: dementia.

If anyone was equipped to care for such a spouse it was Joe’s wife, Trisha, an unflappable Needham grandmother who worked as a nurse and has a PhD in counseling psychology. Still, the encroaching disease left her off-kilter.

Too often, families such as the Foleys have to wait until the ravages of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia do great damage before the health care system brings in its full firepower. But the Foleys were at the forefront of a growing effort by the health care industry to intervene sooner — an effort designed to help patients live healthier, crisis-free lives at home, ease stress on families, and potentially reduce costs for insurers.

– The Boston Globe

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