Senior Health: Early Onset Alzheimer’s And It’s Caregiving Challenges with Pat Moffett

Patrick Moffett joins Steve Heisler to talk about his experience in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Patrick’s wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that strikes people younger than age 65 and only 5% of Alzheimer’s patients will develop symptoms before age 65. Today, at least 300,000 people in this country have early-onset Alzheimer’s. Tune in as Patrick reveals some of the most significant challenges he faced as a caregiver and communication tips for caregivers.

In This Episode:

  • [02:55] The early signs and diagnosis as well as the surprising behaviors that challenged Pat’s preconceived ideas of what Alzheimer’s behaviors look like.
  • [12:00] The most significant challenges Pat faced as the caregiver. 
  • [23:25] Pat speaks about his experience putting a loved one into a nursing home.  
  • [27:25] The number of caregivers that help out with Alzheimer’s in the United States. 
  • [28:20] All about Pat’s book and feature film, Ice Cream in the Cupboard: A True Story of Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Key Takeaways:

  • The caregiver has to take care of themselves, or else the disease will claim two victims: the caregiver and the patient.
  • Pat Moffett recommends keeping your job and look for a Alzheimer’s day center.

Meet Pat Moffett  

Pat Moffett married the love of his life Carmen in 1976 and moved to Great Neck Long Island where they raised their five children together. In 1998, Pat was recognized as Long Island’s International Executive of the Year. That same year, Carmen was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. After years of struggling with the disease, Carmen was finally admitted to a nursing home. It was then that Pat decided to write a book based on his and Carmen’s love story and its tragic turn after she was diagnosed, the internationally acclaimed ICE CREAM IN THE CUPBOARD. 

After Carmen’s death in 2010, Pat continued to work with the Alzheimer’s Association and Carmen’s doctor, Gisele Wolf-Klein, raising awareness and providing support for the caregivers and loved ones of Early Onset Alzheimer’s victims. In 2012 he received the “Tikkun Olam (Translation: Repairer of Lives) Award” from the Sid Jacobson J.C.C.  In 2014 he was recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association as “Humanitarian of the Year”. Pat’s dream is to honor Carmen and to provide hope and comfort to as many people as possible who have been affected by Alzheimer’s. He is confident that bringing his book to the big screen will help even more families understand this devastating illness. The Feature Film ICE CREAM IN THE CUPBOARD is directed by Drew Pollins.