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Supporting their efforts

I am watching the oldest generation of the maternal side of my family suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.

My great aunt is to the point where you can’t understand thoughts she attempts to string together. During the get together for my 25th birthday, my grandmother pointed at me and said, “I think I know who you are,” and I have complete doubt that she thinks I’m her grandson. My grandmother is in her early 70s while my great aunt just turned 63.

This is the second generation of the maternal side of my family I’ve watched deal with Alzheimer’s, and I know that it flows like a stream down a mountain from one generation to the next, so I see and hope that the efforts my mother is taking now will at least push it off to a point where I, selfishly, don’t feel robbed of my time with her if it gets to that point.

Alzheimer’s is a lonely disease for both the caretaker and the patient, and this is something recognized by Marion Kyner, a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist with The Woodland and organizer of an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group that meets once each month in Farmville.

The Woodland held a lunch meeting Sept. 7 where about 20 people gathered to discuss pooling greater resources for people with Alzheimer’s and their families.

Kyner said the aim of the event was to bring additional awareness and resources for people in the area affected by Alzheimer’s.

I commend The Woodland’s efforts to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s and to discuss how to bring greater resources to the area.

Members of my family are a part of the more than five million Americans that currently live with Alzheimer’s. If this is something that affects you or has affected you or your family, I would encourage you, if able, to help out by supporting those who do what they can to further services for Alzheimer’s patients and families.

MORGAN WHITE is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald. His email address is Morgan.White@FarmvilleHerald.com.