Meet Lois

I’m Lois. I’m the President of the Board and a proud champion of Alzheimer Calgary.

I would like to tell you the story of my mom and her 18-year journey with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mom was just 61 when she began to show signs of dementia. She felt so ashamed and for a long time, she tried to hide her symptoms from us.

I can still remember so clearly the day I was with my mom at the doctor’s office, and he said those fateful words to her: “Your tests show you have symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s-type dementia.”

I will never forget the fear in my mother's eyes. Or how overwhelmed and panicked I felt. No one in our family had ever been diagnosed with dementia.

We sat together and cried. We felt blindsided and lost. I didn’t know what to do, but I hugged her and told her, “It’s a disease, not any kind of judgement about who you are or how you’ve lived. We’ll all be with you, and look after things together, just the same as if you had any other kind of health problem.”

Donate today so families like mine can find the support they need when they need it most, after a dementia diagnosis. We found help at Alzheimer Calgary and every day, more families are facing this journey – they need our help.

For every family dealing with the dementia diagnosis of a loved one, the experience is unique and difficult. For us, it meant that by age 67, Mom lost the ability to speak. For several years she was fearful and anxious. Unable to understand or explain her feelings, her eyes often showed confusion, but her rare smiles allowed us to hope she was sometimes happy. I lived a three-hour drive away, worked two full-time jobs, and had young children in school.  Mom’s long-term partner, Keith, was her primary caregiver, supported by wonderful friends and neighbours. We talked and met often. We didn’t always agree about what Mom needed but we set up part-time, in-home care during the day, then eventually full-time, 24-hour care.

After 13 years, her needs became more than we could provide with homecare, and we finally had to move her to a long-term care home. I agonized over that decision, and suffered a lot of grief and guilt.

My dementia support navigator, Janet, listened to me and knew exactly what I was going through. She helped to calm me down, suggested options, helped me make decisions, and connected all those involved in Mom’s care with the support we needed during some very difficult times.

I don’t know what we would have done without Alzheimer Calgary. They were there, providing support and help every step of the way. Give today and help ensure that Alzheimer Calgary has the resources it needs to help more families every day.

Helping other families today, is why I am so pleased to give back to Alzheimer Calgary in my role as Board President. In honour of my mom, I participate in the annual IG Wealth Management Alzheimer Walk & Run where all funds raised support the great work of Alzheimer Calgary.

It is thanks to donors like you that families like mine can access the tools they need, when they need them most.

Please donate today- your support will make all the difference.



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