caregiving Archives - Memory Ball
Memory Ball Toronto is back with its Sixth Annual Gala Event, proudly hosted by the Young Leaders Council of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto
Memory Ball Toronto, Toronto gala events, early-onset Alzheimer's awareness, Fundraiser, Charity Events, Alzheimer's disease, Toronto Alzheimer Society, Young Professionals
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Kathleen Beveridge is a regular contributor to the Memory Ball blog. She has written other stories on the benefits of yoga on brain health. Here is her personal story dealing with Alzheimer's Disease. It’s been 10 months since my grandfather lost his battle with Alzheimer’s and 6 months since my family was able to all be together and pay him tribute. His official diagnosis occurred between 5-6 years ago, and I’ve watched my family’s relationships with each other change and shift. When my grandpa finally let go in February there was a collective sigh of relief from his sons. This may come off sounding horrible and insensitive, but the loss suffered this year wasn’t one of mind, character, or soul, it was his physical body that left us, the rest had already slowly chipped away.19 11 2014 Kathleen's Story BeveridgeFamily99 (2)

Emma Mckay is a guest blogger for Memory Ball. She joined the Memory Ball team to help raise awareness of Alzheimer's Disease, and to support her mother who has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. She is in her final semester of her Political Science and Communications program at McGill University. She loves sports, being active, and writing. She hopes that sharing her story will help others that are dealing with a diagnosis.  When I was seventeen years old, about a month before my high school graduation, I learned of my fifty-one year old mother’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Having just finalized my acceptance to McGill University, and being about to embark on an entirely new and amazing chapter of life, learning this news completely changed my life, as well as my entire family’s. It is not that the diagnosis itself came completely out of nowhere; we had been noticing small changes in my mother for a while, but the finality of a diagnosis, especially an irreversible and ultimately terminal disease such as Alzheimer’s, is truly a heart breaking thing to deal with. [caption id="attachment_2139" align="aligncenter" width="300"]photo of emma and family Emma (second from right) and her family[/caption]

This is a guest post by Caitlin Johnston, the founder and CEO of Memory Mats, a product that aims to help recollection in Alzheimer's patients. Caitlin and FFAB became connected through their passion of helping people with Alzheimer's disease and their families - as well as saving memories. Caitlin also founded the Purple Elephant Campaign to raise awareness of Alzheimer's - at the younge age of 25! We wanted to share her story with you to give a different perspective on the disease to the ones we've been posting recently. We hope you enjoy her story!

At 21 years old and I had entered into what seemed at the time to be a hidden world. I was hired as Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinator of a Long Term Care Home. Myself, and 8 others managed and supervised 250 staff that all cared for 204 seniors. My world had shifted in a big way, as everyone I was spending most of my time with was 70-104 years of age. I quickly learned that you couldn’t become attached to these beautiful people since their life span was now 6 months – 5 years. They all shared wonderful stories with me, gave me life lessons and tons of laughs. What really hit home with me was that each time I had a conversation with most of them their memory was declining. They had started to forget their children, nieces, nephews and significant others. Their loved ones would walk through the door and they would be more excited to say hello to me than their life partner that they had spent 50 years growing old with. This tore my heart to shreds.