May 08, 2019
Not so long ago KFL&A Alzheimer Society only operated out of Kingston. Wisely we were recognized as remotely located and in need of access to service within our own area.
Magic sometimes happens. The Land of Lakes Lions Club quickly gathered and converted an abandoned basement room in their hall into a modern functioning office for us. All accomplished voluntarily. We can't thank you enough. Little more than a year later, we have some achievements to brag about.
During volunteer week in April, a volunteer appreciation event was attended by folks who care. There were 42 of the 66 volunteers in attendance, Lions Club, the Forget Me Nots, the Golden Girls, the Old Pharts Club, Knitters/Crocheters, Roger Hermer representing his band of musicians and some individual people who help out.
The Cloggers entertained us with lively music and dance and a lovely lunch was set out. The program included brain exercises, a short video of the year's Alzheimers related volunteering and an emotional discussion with current caregivers of loved ones.
One feels so helpless in a situation where the caregiver desperately needs support yet it is not a realistic option.
In most cases the patient rejects unfamiliar persons and becomes agitated by the mere suggestion of a visit. The caregiver needs a break but daren't step away lest needed. The patient tends to be frightened and confused knowing that changes are happening, that control is slipping away. This is as much of a challenge to the Alzheimer Society as the disease itself.
Some progress in diagnosis has been made over the years but a cure is illusive. Treatment, medication and stimulation help minimally and only in the early stages. The volunteer groups are wonderful at providing stimulation.
Giving freely of their time to visit Pine Meadow Nursing Home and the Sharbot Lake Seniors Residence with music, dance, singing, crafts and conversation. It's uplifting to watch foot tapping, hand clapping and even singing along from patients. When guided through crafts, proud smiles of accomplishment are all the thanks needed.
At Christmas, twiddle muffs made by volunteers were distributed to elderly folks in the area. These provide idle fingers with fidget soothing shapes and textures as well as warmth. The afternoon wrapped up with a ball of yarn, a very large circle of volunteers, symbolizing a web of support, demonstrating how we are all connected and needed to keep our Community healthy. We said our good-byes to the song “ I think you’re wonderful.”
Our branch of the Alzheimer Society is capably operated by Pam Lemke, who organized and directed the volunteer groups and who hosted and planned the Volunteer Appreciation Event.