Celebrities may seem to lead fabulous lives, but even their families and loved ones are not immune from the devastating effects of dementia. In a new Redbook magazine article, Brad Paisley’s wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, opens up about the slow and agonizing process whereby she has slowly lost her mother to a progressively degenerative form of dementia. She speaks of how she “watched a passionately joyful woman, a devoted mother, an engaged listener, and friend, deteriorate and transform into someone almost unrecognizable.” Williams-Paisley goes on to speak of how her close-knit family tried to keep her mom with them at home for as long as possible, until the only option remaining was to move her to a care facility. That decision was gripping, but one that had to be made when “this mostly manic, dangerous, crazy woman had taken over [her] mother’s body.”
The sheer honesty with which Williams-Paisley recounts her experience with her mother’s battle with dementia reveals the fact that even those families with substantial resources may not be able to keep a loved one from moving to a long term care facility. According to The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2013 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report, Alzheimer’s is growing at an alarming rate and has become the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Every 68 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s, a figure that is expected to increase to every 33 seconds by mid-century. In fact, the report reveals that an estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s. These statistics, though frightening, underscore the need for everyone to consider how they will plan for their long term care needs. The longer we are living these days, the more important long term care planning needs to be addressed. We all hope it won’t happen to us, but statistics reveal the vast majority of us will need some form of long term care during our lives.
To read more about Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s Redbook article, click here.
To read The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2013 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report, click here: