Welcome to my Walk page!
I'm leading the way to Alzheimer's first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
My personal journey with Alzheimer's began in 2007 when my mother was diagnosed with this memory-stealing disease. Her symptoms had started slowly, in small ways - forgetting words, then forgetting things the family had told her, then not remembering her way home from church. At that point we needed to keep her safe, so she lost her freedom of being able to just get in the car and go. At home all day, she began to forget to eat meals, and when we'd take her out, she would forget (or didn't want) to put shoes on, then at the restaurant , she didn't know what she would like to eat. She also forgot her manners, and would eat with her fingers and talk loudly about other patrons. Sometimes, that made me laugh, but more often, it was embarrassing and just sad. That was NOT my mother.
We tried Meals on Wheels, thinking that would at least get her a meal at lunch time, but, not only was she still forgetting her medicine, she was not happy about having strangers in her home. We tried Day Care at the local nursing home - that helped with a meal, and got her out with others for activities and fellowship, but, she didn't want to be away from home, or her dog and cats. Meanwhile, my brother was working a full 8 hour day then coming home to care for her all evening and through the night.
She spent the last 3 years of her life at the nursing home. She was well fed, and cared for - got her medications, time to share in activities, visits from the family - but continued to loose control of words and her own portability. Confined to a wheelchair, she still knew her family and was happy to sing, and hold her stuffed animals, but, lost the ability to feed herself and eventually, how to swallow.
I know this is not a pleasant story. It was not easy to live through. BUT, there were times when she was still Mom - warning me not to do or say something, or beaming at me and holding tight to my hand. I was lucky to be able to spend time with her when she was singing and happy and comfortable. There did come a time tho', that she was none of those. That is what I hope to keep others from experiencing. That is why I Walk to End Alzheimer's.
Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Whether you join my team to Walk on September 30th, or make a donation, I thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Amy Landaw - captain, Still Mom
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised