I lost my grandma 12 years ago to this terrible disease, and my husband, Woody, lost his grandma also about 10 years ago too. I play for their memory, but I also play for both of our families and other families that act as the primary caregivers for those impacted by this disease. It is not easy, and truly takes a village to do. We like to joke and shake off all the silly things she would say from old distant memories none of us were around for when the disease was getting bad, and how she would forget us, but I’ll always remember the struggle I watched my mom and her siblings go through trying to give her the best care they could.
Of the total cost of the care provided to those suffering from Demetria, 70% of it is provided by the families. It is not only financially burdensome, but even more so it’s emotionally and physically taxing. I love the Alzheimer’s Association because of how many resources they give to the caregivers. They help with funding to provide our loved ones with all sorts of care they may need, trainings on how to cope and communicate with those with dementia, as well as providing support groups and even activities for caregivers to help them get some relief.
The odds are you personally have been effected by this disease having a family member who has it or had it, or know someone who has. Over 5.5 million individuals in the US alone have Alzheimer’s, 2/3 of them being women. I don’t know if we’ll find a cure, or a way to manage Alzheimer’s disease in my lifetime, but I’m playing, raising awareness, and fundraising in hopes that the world all my nieces and nephews and possible future children are a part of don’t have to worry about this.