I became involved through working in long term care over 25 years ago. Through my profession, I have had the opportunity to be the program director of an assisted living memory community in upstate NY and in CT. During my career, I discovered that working with individuals with dementia can be both frustrating and rewarding. After seeking out the Alzheimer’s Association, NENY, I received great training and became a support group leader to assist my families in this journey.
When I arrived in CT 13 years ago, I was working at an assisted living for individuals with dementia and got involved in the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter. I again began a support group to assist my families, formed a walk team, and was the Hartford Walk Chair. After sometime at this assisted living, I was given the opportunity to work at the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter and knew this was my next step in my career.
In my 7 years at the chapter, I had many opportunities to learn about different areas of need, strengthening my skills and lend a voice to a cause which is near and dear to my heart. My time at the chapter was a period of growth both professionally and personally.
My next step was to take a position as a dementia specialist where my skills that I had learned at the chapter would be used on a daily basis. I get to go into people’s homes and do assessments to find the best level of care for the individual with dementia while keeping them safe in the community.
So it started out as a career but has turned into a daily passion. I continue to have opportunities to help family’s facing this disease by being an Alzheimer’s Association Support Group Leader, speaking on dementia in the community, to use my voice for public policy/legislation platforms, being a team captain for the Walk to END Alzheimer’s and assisting my clients on getting the Medic Alert Safe Return Bracelet.
It started out as a career but now it is personal. My passion continues as I want to see Alzheimer’s become just a memory.