It is estimated that there are currently more than 350,000 individuals, their care partners and families in New Jersey who are struggling to cope with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
I was one of those people. I lost my father to this disease a few years ago. I am all too familiar with the emotion and physical toll Alzheimer’s takes on the patient and their loved ones. It is an emotional roller coaster. Watching my dad go through this was not easy. From the gradual memory loss, the personality changes, the seemingly-constant doctor and hospital visits, it was heart-wrenching to watch a once strong and proud man changing before our eyes. We were looking at hospice at the time he passed away. For our family it was as if we lost my father twice. First, he lost his memory and we lost his humor, intelligence and the loving father we all knew even though he looked completely healthy and like his regular self. Losing him when he ultimately lost his life was just the final tragic loss after the years of loss we’d already been suffering through.
The Alzheimer’s Association holds annual walks around the country to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is headquartered in Denville with regional offices in Oradell, Princeton and Red Bank. They offer education and training, support groups, respite care assistance, and a 24 hour, toll-free telephone helpline at 1-800-272-3900. The chapter also has a website you can visit at www.alz.org/nj.
There are three upcoming walks in New Jersey this month:
Sunday, October 9th in Princeton. Meeting at ETS (Educational Testing Service)
Sunday, October 23 in Paramus. Meeting at Van Saun Park
Sunday, October 29 in Jersey City. Meeting at Liberty State Park
You can find details about each walk here.
Alice and I are taking part in the Jersey City walk as You Don’t Know Jersey. Click here to learn more and give if you can. Or start your own team and walk!
Help out however you can, even it’s just to get educated about Alzheimer’s. Thanks!
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