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?
This is great news for my family and I. Watching my mother take care of her mother while growing up as an older teenager allowed me to live quite differently than my peers. My mom, who is now living with Alzheimer’s along with both of her two and only siblings, taught us the importance of learning more about this disease. She would sometimes require us to attend workshops with her and read material on the dos and don’ts as a caretaker of a loved one with Alzheimer’s. We didn’t understand the importance of this than as much as we do now.
What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?
After my grandmother’s passing, we became volunteers in the Robeson County Alzheimer’s Awareness community by joining their Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Now we’re raising money for a cure [through The Longest Day] and sharing information with others who are facing roles of caretaking.
What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?
Knowing that we are sharing good advice of caretaking, physicians, or joining the Alzheimer’s Association is very fulfilling. Letting others know that you understand and they’re never alone is empowering. Caretaking can be quite overwhelming. Offering them an opportunity for a mental break or just time to listen may be moments of healing that was long overdue.
If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?
I’m very appreciative in my mother requiring us to participate and learn. It’s as almost she knew this time would come with her having Alzheimer’s. There are differences with my Mom going from being a caretaker to becoming the “care-taken”. She has much patience and always tells us how much she appreciates what we do. In turn, it drives us to learn and advocate even more. When you know what to expect then you know how to fight. You’re never too late to join this group. What you learn will benefit you someway somehow. My mother’s sister was not so fortunate to live as long as my Mom has with this dreadful disease. She deceased February 2020 and they are exactly one year apart in age. Now my mom and her brother fight this disease and our family pull together to support and learn together.