Why I started an Alzheimer’s support group – and never left

I became trained as an Alzheimer’s support group facilitator while I was still the caregiver for my late husband. For me to cope with the Alzheimer’s caregiving journey, I needed to educate myself, understand the disease and connect with others. Understanding the facts, potential issues and strategies kept me sane from the horrible emotion of…

Jenna Pogorels helps Alzheimer’s patients and their families face the challenge

Jenna Pogorels knows the fears and the countless questions families go through when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Pogorels is the senior program manager for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Duluth office, which has been providing support to people with dementia since 1979. Pogorels and her colleagues deliver…

Life after Alzheimer’s: Six things my husband taught me

After my husband Bob’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, our lives changed forever. He never stopped teaching me and reminding me why I loved him. Here are six things I learned on the journey through Alzheimer’s with Bob: Bob taught me patience. I tried to never raise my voice at him and answer every question, even if it…

What I’ve learned about grief after losing my spouse

After a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s, my husband Bob passed away in October of 2015. Today would have been our 25th wedding anniversary. I know the grief will never go away, not fully. But I find comfort and gratitude in the love we shared. The words I wrote in my journal five years ago, when Bob…

My dad’s aging journey taught me how to love selflessly

“I became a better person in caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s,” says Cindy Lou Ferris, a family caregiver for her father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s. The most rewarding part of the aging journey with her father was being able to give back. “I learned how to selflessly love,” says Cindy. “In some small…

Minnesotans lace up for Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. In 2015, more than 50,000 teams participated in more than 600 Walks across the country, raising more than $75 million. The Walk is held annually in communities nationwide, including 11 Minnesota cities…