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Jul 2, 2015 10:04 PM

Rye man starts support group after wife diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease


RYE - A local man has started a support group in hopes of helping caregiver's after their spouses are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
The idea of a group for men came to Woody Sponaugle after his wife Judy was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
One in ten people older than 65 suffer from some form of dementia, leaving spouses who become the main caregiver without emotional support.

The Sponaugles have been married for 53 years. They met in college after pursuing the same career path.

"It was a rainy day and I went in to interview for the CIA," Woody Sponaugle said. "She had been in there interviewing and she came out of the interview."
Judy's recollection of the day isn't so clear.

"I guess I do remember that, but we had so many people coming in and going," she said, before her husband starts reminding her of the details.
Woody uses photo books to help Judy remember.

"It's a difficult situation. Is it 73 percent bad, 82 percent, or 56 percent? It's very hard to say," Woody said.
Judy, however, does recall major events in her life, such as living overseas.

"Thailand was interesting because there were always lots of things to do," Judy said.
More information on Alzheimer's support groups in New Hampshire and Massachusetts can be found at alzmass.org.

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