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My Insight

 

 

At the start of the pandemic, we had a participant that tried out virtual activity programs. Following along and tracking everyone on the screen was a little difficult. But rather than miss out, staff set up one-on-one calls to check in and provide engagement from home.

Carmen Fair is a mother of four who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. When this journey began over 10 years ago, her children – Poli, Boni, Trissi and Allan, became her caregivers. Now, these four siblings continue to work together with the rest of their family to care for their mom and fight against Alzheimer’s.

To write about why I volunteer at Insight I have to go back about nine years. In the fall of 2011 came a realization in our family that Grandma, my husband’s mother, was struggling…something all Insight families have experienced. Ove the next five years I became my mother-in-law’s primary caregiver, forging the most intense and personal relationship I’ve ever had with anyone.

When I met with Gordon and his wife, Karen, I asked Gordon to share his experiences with this diagnosis. The couple lovingly shared an anecdote from Gordon’s counselor: “She compared the program to ice cream. I started Reconnections with one day a week, and she said one day was like one scoop of ice cream, and wouldn’t I rather have two? Yes, and make it Pistachio.”

One of the key requirements for obtaining a Bachelor of Social Work degree is to complete a two-semester long field practicum. Having always been interested in working with older adults, Insight Memory Care Center was my top choice for placement – mostly due to their stellar reputation. I interned at Insight and learned so much about dementia care during my time there.

As we continue our theme of “Sharing the Love” this month, we asked a number of our Reconnections and Day Center participants to reflect on what love means to them. Here are a few of their responses!

In our years of serving caregivers and their loved ones facing a dementia diagnosis, we have seen some incredible acts of love. Each and every one deserves a medal of honor, immense praise, and so on and so forth. However, today I would like to highlight one story in particular.

The first time I noticed a difference in my wife was about three years ago when we were packing to move from NC to Virginia. Both of us were having some medical problems as we aged and we were urged to move closer to family. Of course moving is always a stressful time in our lives and I thought that everything would be alright after we became settled in our new surroundings.

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"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."