By Joseph Willits
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At the Conservative Home / Women2Win screening of "the Iron Lady", Virginia Bottomley referred in passing to the Alzheimer's of Ronald Reagan . Perhaps in an indication of the sensitivity of the topic raised, Bottomley didn't elaborate, however her comment hinted at something this famously friendly duo, the Baroness and the President, had in common later in life. Her comment prompts us to notice the difference in the way these two dealt in public with the problem of ageing - and perhaps to wonder whose approach is to be preferred.
In a touching letter to the American people five years after leaving office, Reagan bluntly and honestly stated:
"I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease".
Conscious of having to live with the reality of the condition, he discusses the tough decision on whether to "keep this a private matter" or "make this news known in a public way", concluding:
"We feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it."