Why I Walk at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Annette Smith of FirstLight HomeCare in Chardon is one of the dedicated community leaders Brian speaks of in this poignant article. Let’s show our support for her as a local body and help gather people for a team or walk as an individual to help with this effort to raise awareness and funds. After clicking the link, scroll down and register for the Kirtland walk on September 29.

Why I Walk

By Brian Rice, Painesville, OH

If you ever visited a loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, you may have encountered residents that seem lost and are pleading for help. It’s not often we see adults experience this level of fear. These frightened souls are likely suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other related dementias. This devastating disease is currently stealing the minds of 56,000 people in Northeast Ohio alone. The number of people with AD is expected to triple by 2050 and it is the 6th leading cause of death in our country.

I am the owner of a home care office serving the aging populations of Lake and Geauga counties. I also help facilitate an Alzheimer’s Association sponsored support group in Painesville. Part of my morning routine before leaving for work each day is to pray for courage, wisdom, patience and compassion. My prayers are often answered when I see these very same virtues in the professional Caregivers we refer and in the family and friends that provide similar care to their loved ones with dementia.

Sometimes my inspiration comes outside of work. My friend Amy is one of the 15.4 million family and friends that provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to those with AD or other dementias in 2012. This care is often provided in private, sometimes in the middle of the night, when no one is available to offer a hand or even an encouraging word. Amy’s husband has early on-set dementia and frequently keeps her awake at night. She does all she can to meet her husband’s every need but also works a full time job! I recently asked her where she finds the courage. Her answer was simple: “I take tasks one at a time and then move to the next”. The amazing part is that Amy does not see herself as amazing. This simple humility made me want to do something more for all those affected by AD.

That’s why I agreed to become the event chairperson for the 2013 East Side Walk To End Alzheimer’s which will take place at beautiful Holden Arboretum on Sunday, September 29th at 8:30 am. As chairperson it’s my job to inspire a committee made up of 15 community leaders who primarily come from the healthcare and eldercare fields. Since April 18th, these thoughtful individuals have agreed to spend their own time, often on evenings and weekends, to promote the event in the community and seek sponsors and walk teams.

I hope you will join me at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 29th. In addition to the meaningful event, there will be food vendors and free admission for all registered walkers thanks to the Arboretum. Sign up today online and invite your friends, family and co-workers to join your team and make a donation. Together, we can reclaim our future!

If you have questions about Walk to End Alzheimers or would like to contact FirstLight HomeCare with questions regarding Alzheimer’s, call Annette at (440) 286-1342.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News