To the Editor:
''Alzheimer's in the Living Room: How One Family Rallies to Cope'' (front page, Sept. 16) demonstrates the courage and challenges families face caring for Alzheimer's sufferers. As an elder care specialist, I applaud the Dillons' commitment to providing home care rather than institutionalization.
Your article describes the frustration with home care and the overwhelming emotional effects on the caregivers. While the number of people with Alzheimer's disease increases, resources to provide them with quality care are limited and expensive, preventing access and ultimately destabilizing the family unit.
Policy makers who ignore the complexity of Alzheimer's disease are doing a disservice to Americans who are now vulnerable and unable to voice their needs. Society needs to wake up and strengthen our health care delivery system and not be victimized by it.
New York, Sept. 16, 2004