Important!! Maggie Kennedy's Fundraiser for Alzheimer's Disease
February 02, 2017
BENEFITING: Alzheimer's Association
EVENT: HFC U 2017
EVENT DATE: Mar 24, 2017
Hello everyone! Please take a second to read this.As many of you know, I have worked in an Alzheimer's Special Care facility for about 2-3 years now. Throughout my time at the care facility, I have learned many heart-breaking, and tragic things about Alzheimer's disease, including the massive amount of shame and stigma associated with the disease. Here is some insight on what I have learned. Alzheimer’s encroaches on one’s most precious memories, such as the name of your grandchild, or the knowledge that one’s husband has passed away. Then, it steals one’s personality, as a state of confusion grasps and molds it into something of bitterness and sadness. Many of my residents experience depression and anger, justifiably so. Not only is the person robbed of their memory but the ability to do everyday tasks and basic functions is lost as well. This is perhaps the most tolling on the resident. Many higher level patients may forget that they are incapable of walking, and they fall, often causing serious or even fatal injuries. I have discovered in my journey working with people with this disease that Alzheimer’s strips away everything that is important mentally and physically. It strips people of their independence. It is truly a tragic, and horrifying way to live your final years.
In the midst of all of this struggle and pain however, I believe that light can shine through the cracks of even the darkest room. This is where my job rises in importance. Yes, I do believe that Alzheimer’s Disease is very tragic, but what many do not understand is that even in a place filled with disease, depression and confusion; I have never felt a larger presence of life, hope, and love. When I talk about life, hope and love, I’m talking about the kind of life I see as a resident laughs and sings along to an old Frank Sinatra Christmas tune. Or the type of hope I see them experience as their grandchild reaches for their fragile, worn hands during a visit. And finally, I’m talking about the love that is shared between a resident and caregiver when I hug and comfort a woman who just remembered that her husband passed away years ago. As I attended the funeral of one of my patients, I learned that he was a decorated soldier, and a loving husband and grandfather to many beautiful children. I also learned that he loved cars and barbecuing. Although I hadn’t known anything about his background before, I knew that he was a kind, wonderful man, with Alzheimer’s Disease and without. Alzheimer’s Disease can strip away as much of a person as it wants, but it can never strip away the human instinct to laugh, smile, comfort, cry, and most importantly, to love.In my job, I spend a great deal of time with the residents. I am the friend that tells them that they are important, and that so many people care about them. I am the friend that makes sure that they feel safe and loved. And some of the time, I am the friend that says “Goodnight, I love you very much”, as I sit with them through their last night and their final breath. I never thought I would get into a career where I have to say goodbye to wonderful people so often. So this is where I am asking for your help. To this day, there is still no cure for Alzheimer's Disease. The number of people affected by this disease everyday is growing rapidly. These people need our attention and our HELP. The Alzheimer's Student Alliance at Indiana University has joined Seth Rogen and his fundraiser Hilarity for Charity to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. Please donate! Anything can and will help.
---In loving memory of my beautiful residents who have passed. I miss you and love you all very much.