Living With Alzheimer’s, A Day In the Life of Ralph Hergert: Part One

Ralph and Leslie Hergert in their home in Somerville. (Dan Mauzy/WBUR)

Ralph and Leslie Hergert in their home in Somerville. (Dan Mauzy/WBUR)

As America’s 78 million baby boomers hit retirement age, one in eight is expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This week on Radio Boston we’re focusing on one of those baby-boomers: Ralph Hergert.

Ralph, 64, lives in Somerville with his wife, Leslie, 66. He was born to a Navy family and moved around as a child. During Vietnam he was a conscientious objector and worked for the Red Cross. He’s a former Baptist pastor, and served as the director of human services for Mass. Congressmen Mike Capuano when Capuano was the mayor of Somerville.

It took years for Ralph to get a diagnosis. After a PET scan in 2009, at the age of 62, Ralph was diagnosed with “probable Alzheimer’s.” This week we will follow Ralph and his wife Leslie through their daily routine, and we’ll hear how the disease has affected their lives.

The series starts in their kitchen, with breakfast.


  • Ralph and Leslie Hergert


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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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