- Posted October 21, 2013 by
San Angelo, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
- 92-Year-Old Veteran Shares Memories of Army Air Corp Service and Continues to Serve in a Colorful Way
- 81-Year-Old Serves as Missionary in China for Over 30 Years and Continues Helping Others in her Retirement
- Seniors at Buckner Westminster Place Bake Pies for Firefighters to Show Thanks During Thanksgiving
- Seniors in Their 80s and 90s Reflect on Real Meaning of Thanksgiving
- Veterans at Parkway Place Participate in Library of Congress Veterans' History Project
Baptist Retirement Community Helps Raise Awareness and Funds for Alzheimer's Research
"Alzheimer's is a devastating disease," said Sharon Mittel, whose sister has Alzheimer’s. “My oldest sister was diagnosed with the onset of Alzheimer's many years ago, and it has been very difficult to watch the disease progress. It has taken away the independence she has enjoyed all her life and her ability to live alone. We eventually made the decision to transition her into the Sagecrest Alzheimer's Care Center. Knowing my sister is being cared for by passionate staff members 24 hours a day has brought peace of mind to our family. I have never observed a nurse or aide lose patience with a resident or ignore their needs. All of my sister's caregivers are like family to her. Alzheimer's is a terrible thief of life. I think the Walk to End Alzheimer's is a great way to raise awareness of the disease and helps fund research aimed at finding a cure for it. The more we know, the better we can fight it."
As part of the Alzheimer’s movement, the community will also acknowledge “Go Purple Day” on Nov. 1, the day before the walk. Purple is the color of the Alzheimer’s movement and wearing purple on Nov. 1 will be another way people can help advance the cause.
“I started noticing that my mother was having difficulties with simple everyday tasks,” said Linda Bratcher, independent living service coordinator at Baptist Retirement Community. “At first it was the little things, such as putting items in the wrong places, not being able to do her laundry or forgetting how to cook. Emotionally, I went through several stages after learning she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I would make excuses because I was in denial. I felt frustration because I couldn’t fix it. I finally just had to accept that she had Alzheimer’s and it was not going to get any better. It became apparent that she could no longer live by herself, so we transitioned her to her new home at Sagecrest Alzheimer’s Care Center. It is such a comfort knowing she is in the care of trained and compassionate professionals. Because of my experience with Alzheimer’s, I feel I can better relate to family members of residents who have the disease. At last year’s walk, I was overwhelmed with joy at seeing how many people supported the cause and surprised by how many lives this disease has touched.”
Baptist Retirement Community is eager to spread awareness about the disease and its impact on Texans. The Texas Department of State Health Service estimates that approximately 340,000 Texans have been diagnosed with and suffer from Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease that causes a steady decline in memory, thinking and behavior. The residents and staff at Baptist Retirement Community hope that their contribution and participation will help find a cure for the disease.
“Every little bit of information they find out about Alzheimer’s can provide us all with more hope, increase quality of life and will help us understand the disease better,” said Bratcher. “Hopefully, we will reach a point where we can identify different treatments, identify ways to prevent it and ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s gives us a feeling that it’s all possible.”