WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former President Ronald Reagan's daughter Maureen says her father is doing as well as someone with Alzheimer's disease can, but that the disease ''just gets worse every day.''
''He makes it very easy for us,'' Maureen Reagan said Sunday on CNN's ''Late Edition.'' ''He goes for walks and does all the things that we encourage him to do.
''But the disease just gets worse every day. And it is just that it never gets better. So ... when I say (his condition is) not so good, Alzheimer's families know what I'm talking about.''
Maureen Reagan, an activist with the Alzheimer's Association, said the disease's course runs through forgetfulness of the mind to ''more physical forgetfulness -- the body. The brain stops telling the body how to stand up, how to walk. So you're constantly having to encourage those very necessary things, and eventually it, the brain, stops telling you to swallow and stops telling you to breathe.''
That is what is facing her father and her stepmother, former first lady Nancy Reagan, Maureen Reagan said.
''There is a special place in heaven for care-givers,'' she said, speaking of her stepmother.
Maureen Reagan wrote in a magazine essay in January that her father, who is 89, cannot speak coherently and, because his motor skills are failing, no longer can join her in working simple jigsaw puzzles.
A month earlier, Nancy Reagan said in a television interview that the former president no longer was capable of having a conversation that made sense.
She said friends were no longer invited to the Reagans' California home because he did not recognize them.
Mailer sets mark high
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Sure, Norman Mailer says, he could see a woman becoming president someday.
But, says the famed writer who once famously battled with feminists, it would only be if she was absolutely ''more impressive than any man around.''
''You can see how high I'm setting the mark,'' he said.
The 77-year-old author, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for ''The Executioner's Song'' and ''The Armies of the Night,'' said he's working on a book that may be his last major effort.
''It's a secret what this book is about, and it's big,'' Mailer told the Television Critics Association.
Show details Newt's fall
PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) -- First there was ''Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution.''
Now it's time for part two. David Crouse, who made the first Public Broadcasting Service documentary, is back with a sequel about the former House speaker's downfall.
''This is a historical piece on one man's ability to operate under duress,'' Crouse said last week.
''The Fall of Newt Gingrich'' is scheduled to air on most PBS stations Aug. 30.
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