Maria Shriver Turns Spotlight On Alzheimer's

Maria Shriver i i

Maria Shriver consults with a doctor in the HBO documentary The Alzheimer's Project. HBO hide caption

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Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver consults with a doctor in the HBO documentary The Alzheimer's Project.

HBO

The Alzheimer's Project, a new four-part documentary series airing on HBO, examines the medical and scientific aspects of Alzheimer's disease, as well as its impact on families. Alzheimer's is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and can ravage the body.

The second episode in the series was inspired by Maria Shriver's book Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?, which details Shriver's efforts to provide support for her father, Sargent Shriver, who suffers from the disease. Shriver, an executive producer for the series, tells host Liane Hansen that caring for her father has been a roller-coaster for herself, her mother and her four brothers.

"When you have somebody in your family who has Alzheimer's, everybody deals with the disease and the person in different way. And you learn that you have to accept everybody's journey with the disease," she says.

Shriver says that the children of people with Alzheimer's often try to make the person into who they were, but her own children helped her understand that she needed to accept her father for the person he had become.

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