President Reagan, who suffers from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, is now confined to a bed, rarely awake and unable to walk or talk, according to a story in the latest issue of People magazine.
In an essay accompanying the article about the former president’s condition, daughter Patti Davis said people may still think Reagan, 92, is somewhat mobile and active, despite his well-publicized illness, because his family has guarded his privacy so zealously.
“But it would be a disservice to every family who has an Alzheimer’s victim in their embrace to say any of that is true, and I don’t believe my father would want us to lie,” she wrote.
The magazine said Reagan spends his days either in a bed or occasionally in a wheelchair, in a small room at his home in the exclusive Bel Air section of Los Angeles, where he is kept out of the sight of all but his closest family and helpers.
His condition has been in the spotlight of late after CBS shelved plans to air a mini-series on his presidency that conservative groups said was biased and an attack on someone who was no longer able to defend himself.
The miniseries was eventually edited into a single movie and shown on CBS’s sister cable network, Showtime.
Davis, once estranged from her family, said her family’s life is now focused on Reagan’s bedside, where he spends his sedentary days.
“When he is awake, which is not that often, he can gaze at the trees outside the window,” Davis said.