This #GivingTuesday our thanks goes out to you

Published: Nov 29, 2021

 

Inspired by your generosity, here is a special story for you. We hope you feel great about your community impact today.

“I can’t lie, these past few months have been the most difficult of my life.”
 
Donna and Gary thought they had overcome their biggest obstacle – receiving Gary’s diagnosis of vascular dementia. They had never dreamed that another obstacle was just around the corner: the pandemic.
 
Gary had always been Donna's rock, in every sense of the word. When their daughters were growing up, he never missed a soccer game or a piano recital. He only took his coffee in his “World’s Best Dad” mug.
 
But when COVID hit Calgary in March 2020, Donna noticed that Gary’s condition began to decline quickly. She shares, “It was scary. Normally a calm, mild-mannered man, he became anxious and agitated. He was frustrated being cooped up inside, and on top of that, many programs reduced their services. But we knew we could count on Alzheimer Calgary.”
 
Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, Donna knew where to turn to for help. She had previously connected with Lindsey, a Dementia Support Navigator at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, when Gary had first received his diagnosis. When she called again to talk, it was a huge relief to hear Lindsey’s friendly voice again. Donna surrendered to the tears and realized then and there; she couldn’t do this alone. 
 
“I should have called before. We really need help,” Donna confessed.
 
Over the next few weeks, Lindsey spent many hours on the phone with Donna providing life-changing but practical solutions. This included tactics like posting safety reminders around the house, going for short walks in their neighbourhood, and encouraging regular video chats with their daughters to stay engaged. Lindsey helped to turn things around for Donna and Gary. She was also a safe place for Donna to decompress and share her struggles, and Donna even began attending a virtual caregiver support group. She learned how to advocate for herself and Gary, and navigate the healthcare system. 

Thanks to you, Dementia Support Navigators like Lindsey can provide lifelines for families facing a dementia diagnosis. Thank you for all your support.

If you'd like to give today in recognition of #GivingTuesday, we are grateful for gifts of every amount. 

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Inspired by the experiences of local Calgarians that reach out to Alzheimer Calgary for support, and in order to protect the confidentiality of our clients, Donna and Gary's story is a compilation of real stories and local themes we hear in our work every day.