Alzheimer's disease can rob a person of their identity, independence and connection with their loved ones.
But one 89-year-old man in Massachusetts may have found a way to break through the clouds of dementia.
Doctor Sanjay Gupta has the inspiring story.
"I love you so much."
Eighty-nine-year-old Sol Rogers climbs into his wife's bed every day. It's his best weapon against a heartbreaking disease.
Sol Rogers’s wife has Alzheimer’s, “If possible, get in bed with your spouse, if they're in a hospital, rehab or nursing home, and tell her how much you love her.”
Restlessness. Yelling. Confusion
It's part of life for Sol's wife, Rita, and more than half of the four and a half million people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Rita's memory began to fade eight years ago. It started with names and places, and eventually she no longer recognized Sol or her children.
She moved into Briarwood Center in Massachusetts earlier this year, unable to talk or even move.
“All of a sudden an idea came to me, and I think it came from God. So I got into bed with her and started to love her up, getting close to her, cuddling up, telling her how much I loved her and everything. I loved it, and I guess she did too. And she started to say a few words,” said Rogers.
Over the next few months, Rita improved -- now, she's more responsive and mobile.
I believe that love conquers everything the loving touch.
In fact, UCLA researchers have taken a closer look at the physiological effects of touch.
Lynn Woods, UCLA School of Nursing said, therapeutic touch appears to have an effect on the stress hormone cortisol, so it decreases stress and increases the relaxation response and decreases anxiety.
Studies prove that touch therapy can dampen the symptoms of the disease, and improve the caregiver's quality of life. Sol says it's certainly worked for him.
He says, “Though she'll never recover from Alzheimer's, I'm going to enjoy her every bit of the time that she has left.”
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated Tuesday that she won’t intervene in the “incredibly agonizing” case involving a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who is waiting for a lung transplant, telling members of Congress that medical experts should make those decisions.
One of the first provisions of the 2010 health reform law has had its intended effect: shifting costs from hospitals, taxpayers and families to health insurance companies, researchers reported on Thursday. It’s one of the most popular aspects of the law.
People may realize that fast food isn’t health food, but they don’t realize just how fattening it really is, researchers report. They surveyed people eating at 10 burger, chicken, sandwich and doughnut chains and found they greatly underestimated just how much they were chowing down.
A new line of caffeinated chewing gum is causing jitters among health advocates and prompting federal officials to take a new look at the proliferation of jolt-infused foods, including those marketed to children and teens.