November 19, 2018
For nearly a year, Eva Feldman visited her mother and three other women during dinner at a memory care facility not far from her home. While her mother was capable of feeding herself, one of the other women wasn’t.
So during her visits, Feldman helped the woman eat while trying to engage the others in conversation.
Feldman — a University of Michigan researcher and neurologist — kept up that routine until her mother died in March at the age of 89.
During the last months of her mother’s life, Feldman observed nearly two dozen people living at the facility and witnessed the symptoms of those with brains succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease: some couldn’t talk, recognize their family or even remember their own names.
“It was remarkable as a neurologist to live Alzheimer’s disease,” Feldman said. “Their degree of impairment was so profound it made me realize that I needed to do something for this disease if I could and do something as quickly as I could.”