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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 00:31 GMT
Reagan 'unable to walk or talk'
Ronald Reagan in the White House Oval Office, 1981
Reagan is suffering the advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Former US President Ronald Reagan can no longer walk or talk and is rarely awake, his daughter has said.

Patti Davis told a US magazine most people were not aware of the true condition of her father, who is 92 and suffers from Alzheimer's' disease.

Mr Reagan has not been seen in public for several years since retreating to his home in Los Angeles, where he is nursed by close members of his family.

His wife, Nancy, has barely left Mr Reagan's side, People magazine said.

'No more clarity'

Ms Davis said: "People often ask me how my father is doing.

"They want to know if he still recognises me, if he still recognises any of us.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan on the former president's 89th birthday, in 2000
Ronald Reagan has been shielded from public view for years
"It makes me realise that my mother and I have been so protective of his condition since he became ill - almost a decade now - that it has allowed people to imagine he is still talking, still walking, still able to stumble into a moment of clarity.

"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."

Gazes at trees

Ms Davis told People magazine that Mr Reagan spends his days in bed or occasionally in a wheelchair.

"When he is awake, which is not that often, he can gaze at the trees outside the window," Ms Davis wrote.

She said she believed the fact she was recently reconciled to her family after a rift was a source of strength to her father.

"I think it's he tenacity of his soul he just isn't ready to leave his reunited family," she wrote.

Nancy Reagan's former aide, Sheila Tate, told the magazine the former First Lady looks after her husband all the time.

"She lives with it every day," she said.

"She doesn't complain but she's sad. You can hear it in her voice."


SEE ALSO:
Reagan turns 90
06 Feb 01  |  Americas
Reagan 'fine' after surgery
13 Jan 01  |  Americas
Reagan rides again
09 Nov 99  |  Americas
Reagan for Rushmore
02 Mar 99  |  Americas
Reagan biography: Fact or fiction?
25 Sep 99  |  Americas
Reagan letters reveal tender side
08 Sep 00  |  Americas
Alzheimer's disease
20 Dec 00  |  A-B


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