Williams-Paisley said that signs of the disease were subtle at first -- her mother had trouble signing her name, spelling the word "Chicago," and once asked for nachos at Starbucks -- but soon grew much worse when she began suffering falls, accidents that landed her in the ER and the inability to finish sentences.
After her father was no longer able to care for her mother on his own, the family realized that a long-term care facility was a better option. Williams-Paisley is a spokesperson for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
In late August, Williams-Paisley spent some time talking with The Huffington Post about her family's ordeal.
Huffington Post: What did you think when you first found out about your mother's condition?
Kimberly Williams-Paisley: We heard about the diagnosis Christmas of 2005 at our home in Nashville. My mother had gone through a lot of medical tests to find out what was wrong. I was very surprised. I knew she was having trouble, but I didn't know this was a long-term thing. There was an element of denial there.
HP: What's happened since then and what's been most challenging?
KWP: It's different for every family, but for us, things would have been better if we'd had a plan in place. It would have been helpful to know what my mother wanted in terms of long-term care. What do you want to do when you are no longer able to care for yourself? This is the kind of question I wished we'd asked before it was too late. By the time we thought of it her mind wasn't there. All this is why I was really excited when the NAIC wanted to partner with me as there were lots of questions we didn't know to ask.