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The Reagan revelation
June 10, 2000 @ 05:00:00 am
Ronald Reagan's support system is far better than the one he left behind for fellow Alzheimer's sufferers.

He's feeble of mind and body, struggling to recall friends, family, dates, facts. What was once black and white is gray, foggy and viscous. His wife, loyal as ever, tries to cover his flanks, to protect him, insulate him from the world, and hide him from the curious, the concerned and the cruel. But he's stubborn, and with an irrepressible burst of strength he bolts.. when she's distracted, when she's not there... he leaves. Adrift, in some ways, but focussed in another he walks. His thin and shop worn legs carrying him away from his home, his memories and his bounds. He floats as if carried along by the current and settles in an eddy off to the side of life. As she returns and discovers his absence there is panic in the household. Where has he gone? How will he take care of himself? Is he cold? Hungry? Injured? Dead?

During his tenure as President Ronald Reagan enacted mental health policies that jettisoned thousands of marginally functional adults into the streets. But he engages in his battle with Alzheimer's Disease and vulnerability and impairment in the warmth and comfort of government subsidized housing, medical care, income assurance and security. Where it that he had not been President. Where it only that he was a nameless general citizen. He does not have to know what dumpsters offer the best food. He does not have to learn where the police are polite and where they are intolerant. Ronald Reagan, now that he is so very weak, should get down on his knees. He should thank fate and fortune that he will not have to suffer from his own misguided and cruel legacy.

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