Susie had a random introduction into the world of Alzheimer’s. Decades ago, her son chose it as the topic for a sixth-grade science project. Little did Susie know that she and her family would eventually be consumed with managing the disease.
At the time of her son’s school project, the family knew nothing about Alzheimer’s. However, learning some facts about the disease prompted Susie and her husband, Bruce, to begin supporting the cause in a small way.
Years later, at the age of 75, Susie’s Mom Anne, began a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Prior to the diagnosis, Anne was a bright, active, loving woman with an outgoing personality. Susie recalls that for the first seven years with the disease Anne was “OK ” and “getting by,” exhibiting only limited symptoms. But then Anne broke her hip and she declined fast. She was moved into a board and care home and the disease continued to take its toll. Anne lost her battle with Alzheimer’s at the age of 89. A decade later, Anne’s brother, Sid, also succumbed to the disease.
With a strong connection to Alzheimer’s, Susie and Bruce increased their commitment to the cause. Susie went to Washington, DC with other volunteers as an Alzheimer’s advocate. Susie and Bruce also became partners in the expansion of the Memory Mornings program. The first program of its kind, Memory Mornings provides Alzheimer’s patients and their care partners with the opportunity to spend time together in a fun, social setting. Participants mingle with others, enjoying cognitively stimulating activities such as art, games, yoga, dance, therapeutic animals, field trips and a music program in conjunction with the LA Opera.