On Saturday, October 12th, our law firm team will be walking in the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Following is the story of why our geriatric care manager, Dedra Jize, is walking.
I have been working with families who have been afflicted with Alzheimer’s for almost 10 years. I have seen the emotional stress and the financial strain it puts on families, especially for spouses. When families get the support they need, the journey becomes more reasonable, especially for those who desire to keep their loved ones at home for as long as possible.
This support comes in a variety of forms. It is the support groups where people learn they aren’t alone. It comes from counseling where they learn specific ways to both take care of themselves and take care of their loved one with Alzheimer’s. It comes from Adult Day Programs that give the caregiver a break and provide care and a social outlet for the person with Alzheimer’s.
For me, the ‘stories’ that involve Early On-Set Alzheimer’s which are playing out in real life for my clients are the most difficult. That is not to say the other stories are any less heartbreaking, but it’s difficult when clients still have children at home, are financially hit when their loved one can no longer work (especially when it is the primary provider who gets diagnosed), and they see the dreams of what retirement was going to look like vanish, in addition to the concern of ‘going broke’ from the caregiver’s perspective.
For those affected by this disease, please remember that there is help out there. It’s important for families not to try to do it alone. Reach out sooner than later and accept the help from others.
There is much to still be learned about the disease. In addition, the variety and availability of support to care for the care provider, family and friends as well as the individual afflicted with the disease is always adapting and changing. Many thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association who strives for a cure and provides support in so many ways.