One of my favorite pictures of my Grandpa Barry is from my parents’ wedding day. Barry is standing with my dad, one hand on his son’s arm, eyes twinkling, laughing a deep, belly laugh. To this day, I wish that I could have known this gregarious version of my Grandpa Barry, who was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 59, though his symptoms were evident well before then. I remember accompanying my dad to visit him in the nursing home, which felt to me like the structural equivalent of sandpaper – uncomfortable and uninspiring. In my grandpa’s room, I would slowly pedal on the standing bike, which always felt out of place to me, and watch my dad try to communicate with his own father. Dad leaned over to be on the same eye level as Barry and rested his hands on his father’s legs. Dad rarely cries, but his eyes turned to glass as he sought an ounce of cognitive recognition from his own father. I can only imagine what he was thinking in those moments.
Barry was a loving man who was deeply passionate about helping others – he even founded one of the nation’s first mobile intensive care units. His impact on my family makes my working for Senior Services that much more meaningful, especially at this time of year. Each fall, Senior Services raises money to fund scholarships for local seniors and their caregivers to attend the award-winning Elizabeth and Tab Williams Adult Day Center, a very special place here in Winston-Salem. The Williams Center provides a safe environment, creative programming, and professional care for older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. The extraordinary staff offer a fun and structured day program that brings fulfillment and friendship to each participant in a nurturing environment, as well as respite to the participants’ hardworking and selfless caregivers.
I love going to visit the Williams Adult Day Center. It is bright and sunny, with colorful murals and artwork lining the walls, a spacious patio filled with thriving plants, and another beautiful outdoor seating area dedicated to U.S. veterans. There is even a festive holiday tree that stays up year-round and is adorned with different decorations to reflect the season! The Williams Center provides warm and inviting rooms for bathing, haircuts, and other grooming needs, as well as a functional kitchen and sunroom. Each day, the exceptional staff plan fun and stimulating activities for the participants, who are deeply cared for and well taken care of. If a place like the Williams Adult Day Center existed near my grandparents’ home in New Jersey, I know that it would have been a saving grace for my Grandpa Barry and my family who served as his caretakers. We are fortunate to have the Williams Center as that saving grace for local families and you can be a part of ensuring everyone who needs it, has access to this critical support.
You can help fund vital scholarships to the Williams Adult Day Center by participating in Senior Services’ Alzheimer’s Care 2021 Challenge Peer-to-Peer Campaign! What is a Peer-to-Peer Campaign? Glad you asked! The concept is simple: A Team Captain sets up their own simple donation link and sends it to friends, family, and colleagues. Then, those folks can donate via the Team Captain’s link or set up their own link (become a Teammate) and send it to even more people! The idea is for you to share your story, because we know so many of us have stories similar to that of my family and Grandpa Barry, and to spread the word about the Alzheimer’s Care 2021 Challenge far and wide – the more, the merrier!
- To become a Team Captain, Teammate, or Individual Fundraiser, please click HERE!
- If you would prefer to make a general donation (not as part of a team), please click HERE!
We live in challenging times and understand that not everyone is in the position to make a financial gift to support the Center. If you are not able to donate at this time, please consider sharing this post, or any of the included links, to help spread the word! Text, post on social media, email – everything helps!
On behalf of everyone at Senior Services and especially the older adults living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia who will directly benefit from your generosity, thank you for your support.
Questions? Please contact Emily Ultan, Development Manager, at 336-721-3408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.