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Letter: These Decisions Are Difficult

To the Editor:

I strongly agree with Alan Tanenbaum (“Keep Families Together,” Aug. 28) about the urgent need to address the growing crisis of dementia in our society and around the world. This certainly includes the need to find ways to support individuals living with dementia who desire to stay in their own homes rather than go into some form of residential care.

However, it is also important to recognize and respect the difficult decisions individual families need to make every day in regard to these matters. While society is (hopefully) discussing this, thoughtful and loving people like Al and Marie Esselborn need to do the best they can with the options available to them now. As Marie says, “But we’re thriving. We’re both thriving.”

More power to them.

Robert B. Santulli, M.D.

Director, Dartmouth Memory Clinic

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

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A Story of Adaptation: After 42 Years of Marriage, Hanover Couple Deals With Dementia

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hanover — Several days a week, Marie Esselborn takes the bus to see her husband, Al. They both live in Hanover. She has an apartment not far from the center of town. He lives at Wheelock Terrace, an assisted living facility on Buck Road. This September, they will have been married for 42 years. It will also mark two years …

Letter: We Need to Keep Families Together

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

To the Editor: The story of Al and Marie Esselborn is heartbreaking (“A Story of Adaptation,” Sunday Valley News, Aug. 25). It almost brought me to tears. There but for the grace of God goes any one of us. Beyond that, however, I believe that it is a disturbing commentary on our society. The story is headlined “A Story of …