In his Alzheimer's-induced wanderings, Thomas Rowe has broken (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

In his Alzheimer's-induced wanderings, Thomas Rowe has broken the child-restraint gates that his daughter Dorla Walker put up to keep him safe in her Baldwin home. (Dec. 3, 2007)

Alzheimer's on Long Island: Thomas Rowe's family

Dorla Walker says it's not in her culture to put family into a nursing home, so taking care of her father Thomas Rowe has become her second full-time job. Click here to buy a reprint of any photo. To buy a copy of any video, send us an email.

An early driver's license photo of Thomas Rowe.
(Credit: Handout)

An early driver's license photo of Thomas Rowe. In his early 80s and with his Alzheimer's disease progressing, Rowe moved into his daughter's Baldwin home in 2007.

As his Alzheimer's progresses, Thomas Rowe constantly wanders
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

As his Alzheimer's progresses, Thomas Rowe constantly wanders about his daughter's Baldwin home. The daughter, Dorla Walker, says it's a remnant of his days working as a security guard at a Brooklyn hospital. (Dec. 3, 2007)

Thomas Rowe watches television briefly before he starts
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe watches television briefly before he starts wandering about the house aimlessly again. (Dec. 11, 2007)

Dorla Walker gives her father, Thomas Rowe, something
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dorla Walker gives her father, Thomas Rowe, something to eat as he moves about the house. As his Alzheimer's has progressed, so has the aimless wandering that makes it impossible to get him to sit still to eat. (Dec.11, 2007)

Evening rituals seem to confuse Thomas Rowe since
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Evening rituals seem to confuse Thomas Rowe since a diagnosis that he has Alzheimer's. His daughter Dorla Walker takes care of him after work, when his home health aide has left. (Dec.11, 2007)

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Dorla Walker returns home from work to her
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dorla Walker returns home from work to her second full-time job: Taking care of her father, Thomas Rowe, whom she moved into her Baldwin home in 2007 after he failed to thrive in a series of nursing homes. His advancing Alzheimer's makes him combative and hard to handle. (Dec. 11, 2007)

Things have only become more difficult for Thomas
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Things have only become more difficult for Thomas Rowe and his daughter Dorla Walker since he moved into her Baldwin home two years ago. He's been in and out of the hospital and gone through a string of home health aides, while Walker deals with a bureaucracy that seems unwilling or unable to help them deal with his increasing decline brought on by Alzheimer's. (Sept. 18, 2009)

Thomas Rowe is tended to by a home
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe is tended to by a home health aide in his daughter's Baldwin home. Many of Rowe's aides have complained about his aggressive behavior brought on by his struggle living with Alzheimer's disease. (Dec. 3, 2007)

Thomas Rowe rests in his bedroom in his
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe rests in his bedroom in his daughter's Baldwin home. An aide sits nearby, providing respite for Dorla Walker, Rowe's daughter, as she gets ready for work. (Dec. 3, 2007)

In his Alzheimer's-induced wanderings, Thomas Rowe has broken
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

In his Alzheimer's-induced wanderings, Thomas Rowe has broken the child-restraint gates that his daughter Dorla Walker put up to keep him safe in her Baldwin home. (Dec. 3, 2007)

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Dorla Walker asks her father, Thomas Rowe, about
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dorla Walker asks her father, Thomas Rowe, about his day. He seems to understand, but his ability to answer is increasingly impeded by Alzheimer's disease. (Dec.11, 2007)

Since his diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease, Thomas Rowe
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Since his diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease, Thomas Rowe has become a handful for his daughter, Dorla Walker. Here she tries to get him settled in a chair at the dinette to eat breakfast. (Dec. 3, 2007)

Dorla Walker tries to help her father, Thomas
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dorla Walker tries to help her father, Thomas Rowe, get dressed, as he mistakes a pair of sweatpants for a top. Confusion brought on by Alzheimer's disease impedes their task. (Dec. 11, 2007)

Dorla Walker gives her father, Thomas Rowe, something
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dorla Walker gives her father, Thomas Rowe, something to eat as he moves about the house. As Rowe's Alzheimer's has progressed, he rarely stays still. (Dec. 11, 2007)

Thomas Rowe becomes agitated with his home health
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe becomes agitated with his home health aide after having his lunch. There's no forcing him to do anything, his daughter, Dorla Walker says, because that only brings out the fighter in him. (Sept. 18, 2009)

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Thomas Rowe wanders the house, stopping to lie
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe wanders the house, stopping to lie down or sit for a bit. He sometimes talks to himself, not always making sense. (Dec. 11, 2007)

Thomas Rowe sports his hat while at home
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe sports his hat while at home in Baldwin, where he's lived with his daughter Dorla Walker since 2007, after Alzheimer's had progressed beyond the point where he could care for himself. (Sept. 18, 2009)

Thomas Rowe sports his hat while at home
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Thomas Rowe sports his hat while at home in Baldwin, where he's lived with his daughter Dorla Walker since 2007, when Alzheimer's had progressed beyond the point where he could care for himself. (Sept. 18, 2009)

Finally, Alzheimer's patient Thomas Rowe seems a little
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Finally, Alzheimer's patient Thomas Rowe seems a little weary and perhaps ready to rest. His daughter and primary caregiver Dorla Walker says he usually wears her out before exhausting himself. (Sept. 18, 2009)