Emma Decker looks into the mirror and smiles (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker looks into the mirror and smiles at herself, a frequent pastime since a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease about 10 years ago. (April 19, 2008)

Alzheimer's on Long Island: The Deckers

Emma Decker was diagnosed some 10 years ago with Alzheimer's disease. Click here to buy a reprint of any photo. To buy a copy of any video, send us an email.

A family photo of Emma Decker in 1960.

A family photo of Emma Decker in 1960.

Fred and Emma Decker celebrate their 25th wedding
(Credit: Handout)

Fred and Emma Decker celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Now that Emma is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, Fred's poor health means that his daughter, Lynn Decker, and her partner, Heide Leuthner, have become Emma's primary caregivers. Fred watches over Emma during the day while Lynn and Heide are at work.

Emma Decker was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about a decade ago. Here, Decker is flanked by her daughter, Lynn Decker, left, and Lynn's partner, Heide Leuthner, at dawn on Dec. 12, 2007, in her bedroom in their home in Bayville. Her room is sparse because several years ago the family removed many items to make it safer for Emma Decker, who would spend most of the day shuffling in circles.

Emma Decker is helped in the bathroom by
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker is helped in the bathroom by her daughter, Lynn Decker, center, and Lynn's partner, Heide Leuthner, as she prepares for a new day. (Dec. 12, 2007)

Alzheimer's disease has rendered Emma Decker childlike, so
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Alzheimer's disease has rendered Emma Decker childlike, so her daughter, Lynn Decker, stands ready to help her with her morning ritual in their Bayville home. (Dec. 12, 2007)

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Emma Decker has her feet washed by her
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker has her feet washed by her daughter, Lynn, as part of a weekly ritual. Lynn Decker has become a parent to her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. (April 10, 2008)

Emma Decker's feet are dried by her daughter
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker's feet are dried by her daughter Lynn Decker's partner, Heide Leuthner. Lynn and Heide take turns caring for Emma, who has Alzheimer's disease. (April 10, 2008)

Emma Decker looks into the mirror and smiles
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker looks into the mirror and smiles at herself, a frequent pastime since a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease about 10 years ago. (April 19, 2008)

Heide Leuthner, left, trades funny faces with Emma
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Heide Leuthner, left, trades funny faces with Emma Decker. Decker's daughter, Lynn, center, and Leuthner say Emma has become "like a kid" since her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease about a decade ago. (Dec. 12, 2007)

Emma Decker, right, shares a tender moment with
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker, right, shares a tender moment with Heide Leuthner before the workday begins in their Bayville home. In a parent-child role reversal brought on by Decker's Alzheimer's diagnosis, Decker is cared for by her daughter, Lynn Decker, and Leuthner, Lynn's partner. (Dec. 12, 2007)

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Emma Decker is feeling good as she waits
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker is feeling good as she waits for breakfast in the Bayville home where her family has cared for her since her diagnosis of Alzheimer's. (Dec. 12, 2007)

Emma Decker sits on the couch by herself
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker sits on the couch by herself in an area of the house where she can be alone -- and where video cameras help her family keep an eye on her. Realizing they couldn't be with her 24/7, Decker's family installed the cameras to help keep her safe. (Feb. 29, 2008)

Lynn Decker, left, helps her mom, Emma, rise
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Lynn Decker, left, helps her mom, Emma, rise from the couch. Emma has trouble with balance after sitting or reclining for a while. (Feb. 29, 2008)

Emma Decker makes her way around the part
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker makes her way around the part of her Bayville home that has been made Alzheimer's patient-proof. When her family can't be in the same room with Decker, video cameras help them keep tabs on her. (Feb. 28, 2008)

Emma Decker, some 10 years into her life
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker, some 10 years into her life with Alzheimer's, smiles for the camera. (Feb. 29, 2008)

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Emma Decker sits watching television in the Bayville
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker sits watching television in the Bayville home she shares with her daughter, Lynn Decker, her primary caregiver helping her live with Alzheimer's disease. (July 23, 2008)

Lynn Decker cleans up her mom after a
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Lynn Decker cleans up her mom after a waffle breakfast. Decker cares for her mother, Emma, some 10 years into her diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease in their Bayville home. (July 23, 2008)

Emma Decker sits alone on the sofa watching
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker sits alone on the sofa watching television with her feet up in her Bayville home. This position is a new one for Decker, who has Alzheimer's disease, says her daughter and caregiver, Lynn Decker. She thinks her mom may be suffering some discomfort in her hip. (July 23, 2008)

Emma Decker sits alone in the Bayville home
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker sits alone in the Bayville home she shares with her caregivers: her daughter, Lynn Decker, and Lynn's partner, Heide Leuthner. An Alzheimer's patient for about a decade, Emma could still walk, but her health seemed to be declining. (July 23, 2008)

Emma Decker rests on the sofa with her
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker rests on the sofa with her teddy bear after walking around in the area of the house that is safe for her 10 years into Alzheimer's disease. She can be seen by video cameras from other parts of the Bayville home she shares with her daughter and her daughter's partner. (April 10, 2008)

Lynn Decker, right, sits with her mother, Emma
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Lynn Decker, right, sits with her mother, Emma Decker, as she nears the end of her struggle with Alzheimer's disease in their Bayville home. (April 17, 2009)

Heide Leuthner, left, and Lynn Decker hover over
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Heide Leuthner, left, and Lynn Decker hover over Decker's mother, Emma Decker, who seems close to dying some 10 years after her diagnosis with Alzheimer's diseaser. (April 17, 2009)

Emma Decker, who has lived about a decade
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker, who has lived about a decade with Alzheimer's disease, is tended to by Heide Leuthner, the partner of Decker's daughter, Lynn, in their Bayville home. (April 17, 2009)

Heide Leuthner sponges Emma Decker's mouth to keep
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Heide Leuthner sponges Emma Decker's mouth to keep it moist. Leuthner is one of Decker's caregivers. (April 17, 2009)

Emma Decker seems to be near the end
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Emma Decker seems to be near the end of her decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease as her daughter's partner, Heide Leuthner sits on the end of the sofa watching over her. (April 17, 2009)