“It’s tough,” Alzheimer’s and the impact on caretakers

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be devastating as doctors continue to work toward finding a cure.

“It’s a very hard time.”

The words from a caretaker of an Alzheimer’s patient.

Lynda Sales helped her mother during her mom’s walk down the challenging road of the disease.

“We all struggle during those times,” Lynda says. “It even makes you think you’re getting it at times. It puts you in that kind of mindset”

Brad Kemp of Oklahoma City remembers when his dad fought Alzheimer’s.

“My dad was a big reader and he got to where he couldn’t read anymore because he couldn’t remember what he was reading,” says Brad, who helped his mom care for his dad.

Both Brad and Lynda lost their parents to Alzheimer’s, but they have now found a way to fight back against the ghastly disease. A way they believe will help others dealing with Alzheimer’s and at the same time be a tribute to their parents.

It’s by volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association in Oklahoma City.

Morgan Fitzgerald is the Volunteer Manager for the OKC Alzheimer’s Association and knows the heartache of people who have been through the arduous task of being a caretaker and knows where to place them as volunteers.

“Some of our volunteers get very emotional telling me their story which I, in turn, get emotional listening to it,” Morgan said. “It doesn’t get old listening to the stories.  Everybody’s story is different. So, it’s always interesting to hear what brought them to get them to our door.”

Lynda works in the office at the Alzheimer’s Association, getting literature ready for patients and their family members and answering calls for help on the phone. She does it to help the desperate people looking for ways to combat the disease with their loved one and as a tribute to Lynda’s mother.

“If I can just give somebody some hope,” Lynda says. “Payback not just to the community but in a way that will really be a tribute to her.  I think she would be proud of me.”

Brad who now serves on the OKC Alzheimer’s board feels the same way.

“After my father passed away, I thought it was a way to honor him,” Brad says.

Click here if you would like to volunteer or sign up for “The Walk To End Alzheimer’s” in downtown OKC on October 5th.

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