It is very difficult to write an article regarding my mom, Marge Slater, who was taken from us slowly due to Alzheimer’s Disease when there are tears on the keyboard. I can continue with this personal account only because of my strong professional connection to NuStep, Inc. and the important work that we are doing together for promoting awareness, offering education and raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Earlier in 2014, Steve Sarns, Vice President Sales and Marketing at NuStep, told me that NuStep had become a Global Team Partner with the Alzheimer’s Association for the fundraiser titled, ‘The Longest Day’. NuStep and I have a long-standing professional relationship that I cherish and therefore, I was honored to become the coordinator for the project, ‘NuStepping to end Alzheimer’s’.
My professional position as a health and wellness director at a senior living community initially brought NuStep and I together. I was fitness director who had NuSteps available for our residents’ (average age 85) fitness training and of course, these were everyone’s favorite pieces of equipment.
It was during these years that I had many associations with people who had Alzheimer’s, their families and their caregivers. Needless to say, I learned a great deal in this position from health care professionals and those living with the condition. I felt that it was necessary to keep my family matters close to the heart and I didn’t share much personal information with the senior living residents and my coworkers. My own Mom, who lived in another state, was already in the clutches of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Mom, Dad, my sister, brother and I were a beautiful, loving family. Lucky for us that we could support each other, educate ourselves and do what we could to help Mom and assist Dad who was initially her main caregiver. Sadly, as often occurs, we feel that the 24/7 stress of caring for Mom is what took his life in 2000. Yes, he had The Longest Day every day. As the disease progressed for Mom she moved to an Assisted Living Community and later a Long Term Care Community near my sister.