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Alzheimer's disease, dementia: Finding help in Las Vegas

Posted at 6:53 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 12:22:03-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's a love story that has spanned decades.

"Jim and I will be 45 years next month," said Linda Loane. "We got married in Pennsylvania, we lived in several states, we raised three of our children.”

But like old photographs, memories fade over time.

Jim’s memory loss has been accelerated by dementia.

"Jim was a banker. He was a banker for 55 years, and today I wouldn't give him the checkbook to balance," said Linda, laughing.

"[It's] a very hard thing to do with a dementia patient," she continued, "to see that person who used to do all those things and not be able to [do them]."

Memory’s just a part of it. Linda says she feels like she’s losing the person she’s loved for so long.

"By 2014 things were definitely not getting better and Jim was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia with parkinsonism,” she explained.

Dementia strikes slowly, causing a loss of memory in what may feel like a merry-go-round of deterioration.

"He can get dressed and shower, do things like that, but I can't trust that the gas stove won't be left on," she said.

It's a constant battle you just can’t win, and it’s forced Linda to transition into the hardest job of her lifetime.

"Being a caregiver to a dementia patient," she said, "is just very different because you are losing them."

Dementia impacts patients and their loved ones differently. As the relationship breaks down, helplessness can build up.


Linda found assistance in Las Vegas at the Cleveland Clinic - Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

"I think oftentimes [caregivers] are not really sure where to turn what to ask what they need to do what resources are available," said Dr. Lucille Carriere, a clinical health psychologist at the Lou Ruvo Center.

They offer a host of services providing support for caregivers and their loved ones while navigating the challenges of brain disease.

Because of the pandemic and new safety guidelines, the center now facilitating virtual support groups so that you and your family will never feel alone.

For more information about the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health click here.