Parnika Patnaik – National Volunteer Week 2021 Spotlight

We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for giving their time to better the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our volunteers are truly the heart of the Alzheimer’s Association here in North Carolina.

In honor of National Volunteer Week 2021, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…


What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?

It was in the year 2005, that I first heard of Alzheimer’s disease. My aunt had a diagnosis. Those were times when not much was known about this disease, back in India, where I lived. People had less awareness about managing a person living with Alzheimer’s. We as a family struggled to cope up with my aunt’s changing behavior and continuous cognitive decline. With time, the disease grew on her and finally took her away from us. Although I was a primary caregiver to my aunt till her last breath, Alzheimer’s still remained a mystery for me.  

In 2015, when I came to the United States and began volunteering at a nearby assisted living and memory care facility, my engagement with the memory care residents reignited the desire to learn more about Alzheimer’s. One day, while browsing the internet for resources on managing Alzheimer’s disease, I landed on the homepage of the Alzheimer’s Association website and found it highly informative and enlightening. I read through the resources and began exploring their volunteer program and applied for the Community Educator role online. The Alzheimer’s Association considered my application and reached out to me. After some sessions of training, I was given this wonderful opportunity and platform to work as a volunteer Community Educator.

What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?

As a Community Educator, I help the Association in its mission of spreading awareness about Alzheimer’s through effective delivery of its chapter’s education programs.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?

I enjoy the interactive platform that the role provides, and also the opportunity to connect and reach out to the families that are seeking help and support on Alzheimer’s. We hear them out, clear their doubts and connect them to the latest, well-researched resources and the 24X7 helpline of the Alzheimer’s Association to provide them the support and confidence to manage and provide the right care to their loved ones, living with the disease.

What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?

Effective delivery of the education programs and resolution of queries from the audience through proper guidance on resources and support groups available to them for help, makes the biggest impact.

If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?

I would appreciate their thought of volunteering and guide them to the volunteering page of the Alzheimer’s Association website to read about the various volunteer opportunities available to them for consideration.


Volunteers truly help move our mission forward. Interested in becoming a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association in NC?
Visit or call 800-272-3900. 

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