There are three things that I will never forget about my grandfather, “Tricky Rick,”. I will never forget grocery shopping with him after he forgot how to do it himself. He liked Clamato juice. I will never forget the police bringing hounds to help search for him after he wandered off our front porch and walked all the way from Forsyth to Davidson County. It was the same year that a tornado struck Winston-Salem on May 5 and was almost as devastating to my family as that storm was to the city. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face when she couldn’t figure out how to be a single parent and take care of her aging father in steep decline. Eventually, she quit her job to try, but it still wasn’t enough.
My grandfather was in the early stages of dementia in this photo. I loved him as much as any granddaughter ever loved a grandpa. As I look back on those memories of Grandpa Tricky Rick, I realize that I never knew what it was like to interact with him before he started losing his memory—before the wandering, the lapses in memory and judgment—before my mother’s constant worry and fear. I’ve known the effect that dementia can have on a family and in my experience, it is seldom good. That’s why supporting families affected by memory loss is important to me, and I hope that sharing my memories will spark something that makes it important to you too.
I am participating in the Senior Services Alzheimer’s Care 2022 Challenge. My goal is not only to raise funds to help provide scholarships for people living with memory loss to attend the Williams Adult Day Center but also to raise awareness about the growing number of people living with various forms of dementia. I want families that are having experiences like mine to know they are not alone. I want them to know that there are resources, like the Williams Center, that can help them through the challenges. I want to do what I can to ensure that someone with memory loss can and will be in a safe space and that their caregivers will have a little less stress and worry each day.
I’ve seen the care and concern that lives in this community. I believe that the people who live in it will continue to show their generosity and compassion to help families receive the care that my mother and grandfather needed but didn’t know was there. Please join me in taking the Alzheimer’s Care Challenge and encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. Together we can make a difference in hundreds of lives.
Your gift to Senior Services is tax deductible, and just in case you got distracted by the old-school box of Now and Later’s on the back of the couch, my grandmother was selling candy to support my very first fundraiser. Either way, I hope that you give now so that someone with memory loss can benefit from it later.
Thanks in advance for the amazing impact that your gift will have.