Alzheimer's Caregivers Need Help

As America's Baby Boomers get up older more and more of them will be hit by Alzheimer's disease.

That means their loved ones will have the burden of caring for them.

For a look at that challenge we visited with Shirley Sillman, of Jenks.

To keep things in perspective she does things like walking with her husband Bob each day.

But it's a tough life.

"Ya just smile a lot then you go in a closet and scream and put a pillow over our face."

Shirley says over time she's learned to smile, because if she doesn't Bob gets upset.

So it's like having an adult toddler in her home.

Shirley gets up each morning and then she meditates and reads the Bible, because faith helps.

She says its a tough way to live but she accepts it as part of her commitment to her husband.

"You just do what you have to do."

"Heck every day is a new day, every hour is new hour."

Her son helps out with his dad on weekends, and Shirley makes time for herself whenever it's possible.

A recent meetings for Alzheimer's caregivers at the downtown Doubletree Hotel promoted that habit.

The experts also encourage friend and family to reach out to those who must deal with the situation on a daily basis.

They need the help.

Author and Alzheimer's expert Gail Sheehy says the best thing we can do is to ask for a specific way to help, for even one hour this week.

Then over time we will get a feel for how we can pitch in and help

While we're at it we can all take steps to protector ourselves from Alzheimer's.

Dr. Virginia Buckles says it's about lifestyle.

Do all the things your mother told you.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise and drink in moderation.

Mental exercise like computer card games is also a good way to keep your mind sharp.