FRANK SUMMERS – National Volunteer Week 2022 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 2022, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…

FRANK SUMMERS
CHARLOTTE, NC

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

​When I learned that LGBTQ+ people, and people from other marginalized communities are disproportionately at risk for cognitive impairment, I knew I wanted to do something to help. Then, when I learned that the Association is devoting real resources and human talent to the community, I felt strongly that it should be supported. Many organizations will fly the rainbow flag during Pride Month, then put it away the rest of the year. The Alzheimer’s Association is doing the hard work, and it’s truly appreciated.

The LGBTQ community may face particular challenges related to Alzheimer’s and dementia, including finding inclusive and welcoming health care providers, less ability to call upon adult children for assistance, concerns about stigma and higher rates of poverty and social isolation. LGBTQ+ Community Resources for Dementia

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

I’m a Community Educator. [Volunteer public speakers who provide Alzheimer’s Association education programs to community audiences.]

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?

​The thing I enjoy the most is seeing that the educational workshops helps people. I can see it on the faces of people who attend the workshops. That’s very rewarding.

Learn more about our Thrive with Pride monthly educational series.

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

Most people within the LGBTQ+ community are unaware of the disproportionate impact cognitive impairment may have on our community. Most within the LGBTQ+ community don’t have children, or want their chosen family to provide care and support. The community is aging along with the rest of the country and will have a significant number age 65+ over the next couple of decades. We need to build the resources and support to help people now, before that impact occurs. I believe the work we are doing now will have it’s biggest, and most important impact, then.

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

Do it! There are people out there who genuinely need the education, the support, the encouragement and the resources, and they’re grateful when you provide it.

THANK YOU, FRANK.


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

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