The normally drab halls of the California State Capitol were sparkling with color on March 6 as 160 Californians, clad in bright purple sashes, descended on Sacramento for Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day 2013.
As family members and individuals affected with Alzheimer’s disease, the volunteer advocates met with elected representatives and key staffers to share the impact the disease has had on them, and advocate for policies to help the many Californians confronted with the disease.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day, an annual event in California, is an opportunity to connect with legislators on a personal level, and to educate them about the realities of Alzheimer’s and what the legislature can do to improve life for the nearly 600,000 Californians who have the disease. Continue reading “Volunteers Push for Legislative Change at California Advocacy Day 2013” »
A year ago, just before Christmas, my mother succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. Her death ended a 15-year ordeal for herself and her family. As I grieved for her in the months that followed, I struggled to make sense of what we’d been through.
Resolving to find a way to use what I’d learned from that pain, I reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association to explore how I might apply my experience in some small way to ending this dreadful disease and easing the path for others living with Alzheimer’s. Continue reading “How do you get (and keep) a Senator’s attention?” »
It was a soggy morning in Sacramento, but more than 200 dedicated Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocates still showed up in good spirits to the 2012 Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Among them: people with early stage Alzheimer’s, family caregivers, healthcare professionals and other Alzheimer’s champions.
Following a light breakfast and overview of the day, we were welcomed to the Capitol by Senator Tom Berryhill who thanked everyone for their work as volunteers.
“What you’re doing up here today is very important because education of these legislators in that building is so necessary.”
Training for the group continued with an overview of “legislator meeting Dos and Don’ts” by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell.
“We work for you and that can be a one sided relationship unless you make it otherwise and reach out to us on a regular basis,” she said. “That’s your responsibility as Californians. I have a job to do and you have a job to do to make us informed of issues that are important to you.
Continue reading “California Advocacy Day: rainy and inspiring!” »
Paul and Susan were college sweethearts who had lived many adventures in their 38 years of marriage, including a stint with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and teaching for two years in Norway, where their son James was born. The couple finally chose to settle in Reno, where they spent more than 20 years building their careers, family and community.
“My first recollection that something wasn’t right was when Susan wasn’t able to do simple addition or subtraction when balancing the checkbook,” says Paul. “Things got worse so we took her to a neurologist. He was the first person to bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s.”
Continue reading “Alz Profile: Paul Dugan, Walk Champion and Alzheimer’s Advocate” »