For Christine Read, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s gives “hope that one day no one else I love and care about will have to struggle with this awful disease.” This is Christine’s sixth year participating in the Lake County Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Christine walks on Saturday, October 2 in honor of her grandmother, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I lost my favorite person on this earth to it. Mourning the loss of someone while they are still living and breathing in front of you…It’s the most heartbreaking way to see someone live day in and day out.”
Christine reminds everyone that there is no cure for the disease and no way to prevent the inevitable after diagnosis. “The most important people in your life could one day look at you like you are a complete stranger and not want to be around you, trust you, etc. It can also be frustrating at times if you are a caretaker. No amount of love, care, or compassion will make them remember anything you want them to.”
Christine offers two tips for connecting with your loved one as they face the disease. If your loved one has a first language different from your own, Chrstine suggests learning it. “Eventually, they resort to that language and then it will become extremely difficult to communicate with them.” Secondly, Christine stresses the value of music to lift your loved one’s mood. “Music that they love will always trigger a happy place,” she shared. “They will even remember the lyrics. It’s heartwarming and gut wrenching at the same time. You’ll want to know why they can remember the words to a song, but not remember who you are to them.”
Having experienced the difficulty of losing her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease, Christine encourages everyone to join her in pursuit of a cure. She says, “even $1 every month or year will go a long way.”
Join Christine at Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. Register at alzheimers-illinois.org/walk to raise valuable funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.