Two women among those who cope in Alzheimer's support group

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM.

"I honestly don't think he recognizes me,” Williamson said.

That doesn’t deter her from daily visiting him and feeding him lunch.

Douglas, Barton’s husband of 37 years, was diagnosed at age 68 with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. He died six years after his diagnosis.

"It will be three years ago (that he died); this past June," Barton said. "He went through the stages very quickly before he died."

Alzheimer's Family Services, a non-profit organization, has given assistance and support for families with loved ones who have Alzheimer's. AFS, a Covenant Hospice affiliate, also runs meetings in Escambia and Walton, among other Florida Panhandle counties. 

"The emotional help they take away from the meetings is the biggest thing," said Susy Baker, the group’s leader for the past four years.

Meetings’ intimate nature help foster an environment for forging long-lasting bonds, said Baker, who worked with Alzheimer's patients as a licensed nurse for 36 years.

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