Dear Abby: Early Alzheimer's signs should be addressed

Posted: December 07, 2012

DEAR ABBY: My 62-year-old husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and I have since learned that his co-workers spotted his troubles long before I did at home. Had I been informed, he could possibly have retired on disability and have Medicare today (which he does not now). Additionally, he would have known to have structured his retirement to include survivorship on his pension, which he did not.

I realize his co-workers were in a difficult spot, so I'm not blaming them, but I'm hoping a few words from you might get the word out to others: Friends, when you notice someone is declining, please speak up.

- Donna in Virginia

DEAR DONNA: I'm sorry about your husband's diagnosis. Although there have been warnings that it was coming for years, the Alzheimer's epidemic is here now, and millions more families will be touched by this progressive - and ultimately fatal - disease.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, knowing the warning signs of Alzheimer's and speaking up when you notice them are critical to early detection and receiving the best possible care. If you notice these signs in anyone - including a colleague - it is extremely important to share your concerns with the family.

DEAR ABBY: Twenty years ago, my brother told me his wife had been having an affair. Needless to say, they divorced, and I sided with my brother.

A few days ago, I learned that my brother was actually the one who had been having the affair, not my sister-in-law. Because we lived in different states at the time, it was easy to believe what I was told. I think that my ex-sister-in-law deserves an apology from us all.

- Lied to in California

DEAR LIED TO: I don't think it is ever too late to offer an apology where one is needed, so contact your former sister-in-law and tell her that you now know the truth and you are sorry. If you feel the need to speak your mind to your brother, do so.

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