Living with Dementia; One Lincoln Couple's Story

"You keep going." --Brad Anderson, husband

Brad and LuAnne Anderson of Lincoln have been married since they were teenagers, back in the early 1970s. They were high school sweethearts and it was love at first sight.

They used to dance four days a week, a picture of them dancing prominently hangs on a wall of their south Lincoln home.

But then, when LuAnne was just 55 years old, their world began to change drastically.

Two years ago, LuAnne, a former business manager in the Department of Modern Languages at UNL, and pretty good piano player as well, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

That means, in essence, that her brain is under attack. She is losing her ability to communicate, talk, read, and do basic everyday things most people take for granted, like drive.

For husband Brad, it's been a very challenging experience to say the least.

As he cares for his wife, he also realizes she is slowly slipping away.

"I'm basically like a parent with a new child, but one I love very much. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you take each day and you keep going," said Brad.

For now, the fight against dementia is an uphill one. There's no cure, but there's always hope. For LuAnne, one thing that brings her happiness, in addition to her husband's kindness, is playing the piano. She played several songs for 1011 News when we interviewed her.

"Oh it does make me feel... oh!.yea gosh...again cause I can remember how I used to learn (to play the piano) when I was probably three years old," said LuAnne.


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