Lois Hull's long goodbye has lasted 13 years. It started simply, her husband Jim began forgetting things here and there. Now he's almost completely lost to her.
Lois Hull: "the hardest part is you can't do anything..."
But Lois does all she can, locking the doors with special ties to make sure he doesn't wander off.
Lois Hull: "you have to watch constantly and know where he is and what he's doing and you feel like you're on call...."
But Hull says she can't bear the thought of a nursing home.
Lois Hull: "I cant bear the thought of giving up what's left. And then two I don't know how long this is going to last."
Alzheimer's patients live for an average of 8 years but as many as 20. And the lifetime cost of caring for them is more than 170 thousand dollars. That doesn't include the emotional price you pay watching your loved one slip away.
Lois Hull: "Our 50th wedding anniversary was the 25th of June and he asked me three times that day what my name was which is tough."
It's a tough burden to bear, but one local organization is trying to ease the load.
Tulsa's Alzheimer's Association met today to recruit volunteers to help caregivers
Lois Hull says her volunteer is a weekly blessing, we'll have more on that part of the story tonight at ten.