Mar 23, 2008

Time works against Alzheimer's patients, families

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Charles "Chuck" Williams was mad when he learned he had Alzheimer's disease more than three years ago.

"I thought I had to give up so much of myself and I couldn't do this or that. I was T'ed off at the world for making me this way," Williams said. "I just didn't understand why God did this to me."

In the beginning, Betty Williams, Chuck's wife of 51 years, said she didn't understand why her husband would get so mad at the drop of a hat.

Staff photo/Chad Nation - Chuck Williams displays a tape recorder he keeps attached to his key chain at all times. The small device has his name, address and telephone number recorded in case he becomes lost or needs assistance.<br><br>
"I would get upset, because I didn't understand why he was getting so angry so fast,"
For nearly two years, Chuck and Betty have attended a support group at a local church that has helped them cope with the disease and allowed them to understand each other better.

"Support groups are such a tremendous help," she said. "After a diagnosis, people are totally overwhelmed and don't know where to turn or what to do."

"I've got (Alzheimer's), but I have to live," Chuck said. "Whatever happens, happens."

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