Alzheimer’s patients

Doug and Connie Moore met at the seminary. He was a student and pastor of an inner-city congregation, and she was a student and a public health nurse.

“She’s the one who drew me to the needs of the poor,” Doug says.

The pair wed in 1974, and Doug became a pastor at the First Evangelical Free Church of Los Angeles in 1983. They became deeply involved in their community and dedicated much of their free time to teaching English as a second language, creating tutoring programs, and mentoring students in poor communities here and abroad.

But these days, the retired couple spends most of their time inside their modest two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. “There are a lot of hours spent alone,” says Doug, 69. “I can’t have a conversation with Connie.”

Connie, now 73, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, in 2015. About 10% of Americans age 65 or older have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, including an estimated 670,000 people in California.

Doug, Connie’s primary caregiver, knows his wife needs as much stimulation as possible. So, twice a month, the Moores visit a program often referred to as a “Memory Cafe,” which offers social activities for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia — and their caregivers. Activities include art, music, poetry, presentations, and social interaction.

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Michael Monteforte, Jr.
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