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by Jeanne Dorin McDowell, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2010 issue
For ten years Leeza Gibbons and her two siblings watched helplessly as their mother, Gloria Jean Gibbons, slipped slowly behind what Leeza calls the "veil of Alzheimer's."
"I saw my sister get depressed, my brother go into denial, and my father become isolated," says Gibbons, 52, the host of radio's Hollywood Confidential. Her solution: to become an advocate on behalf of caregivers. In 2004 she cofounded The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation with James Huysman, Psy.D., to provide caregivers with resources for ensuring their own health and well-being. At Leeza's Place centers in Texas, Florida, California, New York, and Illinois—there are eight centers in all—caregivers are teamed with a Leeza's Care Advocate who helps them navigate the maze of issues that come with a loved one's diagnosis. Says Gibbons, "It's not just about the person who has that disease but everyone who loves and cares for that person."
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