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BREWSTER, Mass. — He used to be an incisive American history teacher and a fiery lefty activist. And he still talks with fervor about the plight of working class people and his disgust with Donald Trump.

But Rob Moir can’t remember anything Trump’s been saying. And last week Rob needed his wife to remind him which down-ballot candidates he prefers, and to stand beside him at the voting booth guiding him gently while he bubbled in his early ballot.


Rob is one of millions of Americans with dementia. And like many of them, he’s had to navigate the voting process alongside a caregiver this election season. For people like Rob in the earlier stages of the disease, voting can be at once empowering and challenging. And it can grow increasingly fraught as the disease advances.

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  • Hi Rob and Peggy, love you both much. Maggie’s dad also had Alzheimers. You can be sure that one day our struggle will be victorious over this system that denies what’s really needed to fight diseases and Alzheimers will also be swept up in the dustbin of history – thanks to the inspiration and work of you two that set me on the right (left) path. Although my politics is a little different I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for you two. If you ever need something call me in LA.

  • This is very touching and, at the same time, heart-breaking. Rob and Margaret have been my political mentors since I first met them 39 years ago. The line about incremental losses brought tears to my eyes. They are a lovely, wonderful couple, both of them, and I love them very much. This should be seen widely because it humanizes this dreadful disease, its victims and the caretakers.

  • This was very timely for me. I am taking my mother to vote tomorrow and have had some misgivings about whether it was the right thing to do. This clarifies for me that yes, even though she was confused by the sample ballot I showed her and could not fill it out without some help, she is still clear about her choices. She also is clear that she wants to vote in person, not absentee. I plan to print out this article and bring it along in case we get challenged by some over-zealous poll watcher. (!)

    • If you ever have trouble with poll workers or anybody call the county clerk and complain.
      The family is the group that decides if a person can vote, not some stupid poll people. About 10 years ago, my son and I went to vote. I voted, and he came out in distress and asked for help in voting. His new med mixture from the VA was causing vision problems. He needed a reader. At home, he said that he wanted to vote without my help. He went in with an aide, and the other workers said, “How can a person like that be allowed to vote?”, and that it was disgraceful, and should be reported. I spoke up and said that he had vision trouble from his meds. When they came out of the booth, my son headed for the restroom, and the workers asked if my son knew who he was voting for. The aide replied that my son knew what all of the bonds were about-everything- he just couldn’t read the ballot. I did call the county clerk about this. No government has a better supporter for libraries, schools, flood control, and other infrastructure than my son.
      About now, I don’t think that voters with problems are any goofier than other voters. Just vote

  • Thanks so much for this stunning profile. The link cited in the piece is to our organization, the Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Center (AFCSC). We provide an array of free services to individuals and families navigating Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. For information, please visit our website at, call (508) 896-5170, or email us at [email protected] .

  • I know there are many who question the abilities to vote for those who have some form of dementia. I live with Ad and I can assure you I can vote much better than some of those normal people that vote. In my opinion some of those should not vote as I know more than them. I just may not be able to say it.

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