Natalie Morales Gets Real About How Her Kids Were Affected By Her Mother-In-Law's Alzheimer's

Date February 10, 2020

Natalie Morales has had some tough struggles but rather than let them hold her down, she's doing some good instead.

A tough illness

Natalie Morales and her husband faced a major hurdle after his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. But one of the things they learned from the struggle was how to protect themselves and their children.

The NBC anchor said that she was determined to set the right examples for her sons while spreading the word about the disease.

When my mother-in-law was diagnosed, my husband and I took that as our ... mission in life.

She went on to explain that she and her family placed a lot of focus on being fit and healthy since they now had an increased genetic risk of other family members experiencing this disease.

So yeah, my husband is very aware of that. And we do what we can to prepare right for the unthinkable.

On her website, Natalie shed more light on her struggles as she explained that her mother-in-law, Kay Rhodes, was diagnosed with the condition while in her 50s.

She explained that this experience made her an advocate and a champion for the Alzheimer's foundation. Her goal has been to raise awareness and educate the millions of families affected in a similar way.

The more we learn now the better we are at planning for our future and doing all that we can to better educate and prepare for ourselves or our loved ones.

Getting through it as a family

Kay's diagnosis inspired the family members to do all they could to help her. Speaking to WorkingMother, Natalie revealed that her husband and his sister would visit their dad often. He served as a caretaker for his wife for years until that began to take a toll on him.

According to Natalie, Kay's illness progressed in a span of about 15 years and things really deteriorated towards the end.

She was experiencing symptoms, of course, but we saw toward the end she couldn’t talk, she couldn’t walk, she could barely lift her head up.

How the grandkids were affected

One of the toughest parts of this experience, Natalie revealed, was how her children were affected.

The 47-year-old journalist said that having to bring their young sons to see their grandmother was incredibly heartbreaking. It was so bad that the boys became "a little bit afraid" of going to see grandma.

They saw somebody who didn’t look like my mom, who is perfectly healthy. Seeing this other grandmother who didn’t know who they were, who didn’t have that grandmotherly reaction to them, couldn’t really hold them or talk to them, and didn’t have a connection, as a mom, was heartbreaking.

Some facts about their family life

  • Natalie and Joe's wedding, which took place in August 1998, was confirmed to the NYTimes.
  • Their first son, Joseph, was born in 2004 and the second, Luke, arrived four years later.
  • The family lives in a $6.8 million home located in Brentwood, LA. They moved there in 2016.

A difficult condition like Alzheimer's affects not just the patient but their family as well. Natalie has succeeded in bringing attention to this fact. And it's all thanks to her dedication to sharing her story, even the hard parts. She chose to learn from her experience and has inspired others as a result. She's also committed to doing what she can to make things better for others.

Celebrities Health