Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death in America’s top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. With that in mind, the Alzheimer’s Association of San Antonio/South Texas Chapter used a POWER UP grant to help bring greater awareness about this devastating disease to the community through a series of workshops. The monthly programs, which took place at the Schertz Library in 2015, covered topics that ranged from warning signs and available resources to information for caregivers. In addition to creating a deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s, the organization’s goal was to also empower families to secure medical attention and support before the disease progresses too far.
No one can relate to this more than Ron Casola. He was diagnosed at age 64 with mild cognitive impairment and was selected by the South Texas Chapter to serve on the Alzheimer’s Association’s National Early-Stage Advisory Group.
“I wish people would be more open about their symptoms sooner, so they could get the support they need. Otherwise, all sorts of things could happen—they could be in an accident or even get fired. Also, they may discover they don’t have Alzheimer’s, but something else that’s treatable.” – Ron Casola
“For a while I kept my diagnosis a secret. But, once I shared it with friends and members of the three boards I was serving on at the time, I was overwhelmed by their support. It was like lifting a ton of bricks off my shoulders because they could now understand the difficulties I was having, such as forgetting things. It inspired me to try to help others “come out of the closet” and get the help they need,” says Casola.
In addition to creating a deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s, the organization’s goal was to also empower families to secure medical attention and support at an earlier stage of the disease progression.