Caregiver Testimonials

We would like to share with you quotes and stories written by MemoryCare families about their journey with dementia and experience with MemoryCare.

We express our sincere appreciation to the families for sharing their words and pictures.

When we think about MemoryCare, we think about Abraham Lincoln’s quote: “It’s not the years in you life that count, it’s the life in your years.”  We would love to say how special the staff has been in adding “life to years” for the many people they touch.

Chuck and Sally DePaolo, MemoryCare Caregivers

I had no idea how vital MemoryCare would become in supporting me with my challenges with mom and the stress that comes with being a primary caregiver for a loved one. During the four years we have been part of the MemoryCare family, our care team has listened attentively to me without judgement and has shared resources, information and guidance so I could provide mom with the best care.  Thank you, MemoryCare, for truly taking care of mom and me.

Evelyne Figaro, MemoryCare Caregiver

My wife and I entered the maze of dementia to discover unfamiliar paths, countless dead ends and no clearly marked trail to follow. We were on our own and it was overwhelming to say the least. Once we met our MemoryCare team, they were always beside us, helping us with decisions, suggesting a different course to follow, and most importantly, giving us the sense that we were not alone on this harrowing journey.

Bill Smutny, MemoryCare Caregiver and Community Educator

MemoryCare was with me and my wife throughout our journey.   The medical component is only a part of what they have been able to do for us.  We have had support from so many aspects of their program and we have learned so much.  When you walk in the door of MemoryCare you don’t feel like a patient but that you are someone who is cared for.  Words cannot express what MemoryCare has meant to us. Thank you MemoryCare for caring.

Woodie Dyches, MemoryCare Caregiver

The care, resources and just plain love we experience at MemoryCare are beyond words...  MemoryCare has made this difficult journey into one that I have learned to accept and even appreciate at times.  The staff and doctors are caring and very knowledgeable.  They understand what we are going through and have helped reassure me through the doubts and insecurities I have as a caregiver.  I love my mom with my heart and soul and will do all in my power to make this journey just as pleasant and caring for her as I can. Thank you MemoryCare!  I know I could not help her without you all.

Alexandra Cedeno, MemoryCare Caregiver

We appreciate all you did for our family, for my husband, and for all your contributions to the professionals who care for your clients and other families to whom you’ve made your services available.

Anne Plyler, MemoryCare Caregiver

I can’t imagine us negotiating the changes we are facing without the competent, caring help of MemoryCare

Cannan Hyde, MemoryCare Caregiver

As a caregiver of a loved one who has received so much from MemoryCare, I have seen first hand what they provide. To prepare for those who will need their services tomorrow, I can’t think of a better way to express our gratitude than to help MemoryCare today.

Peter terHorst, MemoryCare Caregiver

MemoryCare’s programs deal with real word problems that older people meet every day. Everything they do demonstrates their care, concern and creativity in dealing with memory-impaired individuals.

Barbara Sanders, MemoryCare Caregiver

“I don’t know what we would have done without MemoryCare. It’s comforting to know you’re here when we need you. The support is great.”

Claude Cochran, MemoryCare Caregiver

“MemoryCare was always there for me - from the sinking feeling of the initial diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia to the final few months and beyond.  My suggestion is to take advantage of all that MemoryCare has to offer and bring along a sense of humor.”

Janis Newbery, Caregiver

Like the Warmth and Comfort of a Quilt

On my husband’s bed is a locally made, hand stitched quilt. Like the beautiful quilt on the wall in the new MemoryCare building, it is a work of art. It comforts and warms him each night as he sleeps in his care facility.

About 11 or 12 years ago I noticed a gradual change in my husband, Ennalls; (rhymes with “Reynolds”). He’d had a career that required him to be able to juggle a dozen balls in the air at once. He could no longer do that and, I noticed, started to miss appointments or was unable to grasp the complexities of an issue. Our regular doctor suggested that MemoryCare might be helpful and referred us to them.

What a blessing to have found our way to MemoryCare!  Not only was Ennalls under the care of a doctor who understood dementia and all its nuances and subtleties, but also I could talk with someone who knew what I was going through.

Although the journey for each person and their loved ones differs, there are experiences that can be common with dementia. MemoryCare has helped provide us with basic info as well as tools and skills on how to deal with this degenerative disease.  Sitting down periodically with our MemoryCare doctor; sharing laughter and tears at the monthly support group; learning the ins and outs of the disease through MemoryCare workshops and their excellent “Caregiver College” – all of these resources have been invaluable to our journey.

MemoryCare was also there for us when it was time to place him in a care facility.  They had recommended that I “do my homework” and research which place would suit his needs the best.  Because they had encouraged me to move ahead, I placed his name on the waiting list, and there was a spot available for him when it was time to make that move earlier this year.

Ennalls finds comfort in his beautiful quilt. I find comfort in all that MemoryCare has provided us through the years.  Thank you, MemoryCare!

Suzi Berl, Caregiver

Dad’s Team Spear

Sue, Jim, and Liz Spear

TEAM SPEAR is three sisters (Liz in western NC, Sue in D.C., Pat in NYC), a geriatric care manager (GCM) and our care team at MemoryCare.  Four years ago, our father’s life changed dramatically, and my sisters and I discovered that Alzheimer’s had become a part of the family.  We learned about the GCM field and met and engaged one who also immediately suggested we contact MemoryCare and have Dad evaluated as fully as possible.  That first 4-hour appointment was draining for everybody, but the sheer volume of thoughtful care for both Dad and me (technically the nearby caregiver) and the presentation of resources for each of us (and by extension, my sisters) was amazing.  The care team explained that with time, they would be able to give a more specific diagnosis and information about Dad’s future.

After a year of periodic cognitive testing and interviews with myself and the GCM (we each visit Dad once a week), we were told that Dad likely has Vascular Dementia with a ‘frosting’ of Alzheimer’s Disease: a mixed dementia illustrated by his pattern of change.  Heartbreaking, yes, but the information was HUGE!  Even with the caveat of ‘most likely diagnosis’ due to the general uncertainty about dementias, the clear and practical presentation of information by our MemoryCare team was a relief.

Dad is now living safely in a secure and more socially-oriented facility; he is quite healthy, still very verbal and articulate in spite of slowly growing confusion.  My weekly visit reports are shared with all of  TEAM SPEAR; the GCM and MemoryCare team respond quickly to any issues that arise with explanations, recommendations and follow-up.   My sisters and I found that initial learning curve to be very steep, but MemoryCare made a huge difference in our family’s peace of mind and acceptance of the future.

Liz Spear, Daughter and Caregiver

A Chorus of Care

Husband and wife“Mr. Ed, Mr. Ed”- Voices ring across the parking lots, grocery stores and restaurants to us, voices of former employees from Teves Continental automotive manufacturing plants where my husband had been the Director of Operations. His knowledge and love of the automobile offered other voices with different dialects as we traveled to Germany, Austria and Switzerland for work and recreation with his business colleagues. Later in our lives, voices with other accents greeted us across mountains, prairies, small towns and cities in the United States as we participated four times in the coast to coast “Great Race” across America in his 1939 Pontiac. But eventually, they became the voices he could no longer connect to or remember.

The reality of his declining mental condition came about as a result of a home visit from a nurse who was examining us for our long term health insurance application. Her sobering assessment of his failure to pass the cognitive test and denial of his insurance coverage brought new voices into our lives. In 2010, we were introduced to the services, knowledge and personal engagement of MemoryCare. Our first meeting with our physician and social worker was in-depth with testing, observation and consultation that revealed an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It was the beginning of regular appointments filled with not only testing, observation and advice but also encouragement, patience and constant vigilance.

In 2012, a medical emergency required the replacement of his aortic valve through complicated surgery resulting in an increased demise of his cognitive ability. The voices in our lives became a quartet of care and coordination with his regular physician, heart surgeon, cardiac physician and MemoryCare physician. Constant communication via emails and phone calls on a daily basis kept us on track with his medicines, physical needs and cognitive changes. This communication and coordination continue in our lives today-four years later.

As a caregiver, the voices at MemoryCare have provided knowledge, understanding and encouragement through times of anxiety, sadness and frustration. At their recommendation, I enrolled in the MemoryCare Caregivers Education program, and the Program’s information notebook still serves as a guide in resolving new issues of moods, hygiene and communication. The availability of information in the library and monthly MemoryCaregivers Network groups for caregivers provide a consistent voice of encouragement and the knowledge that you are not alone in the journey.

Upon the advice of our MemoryCare physician, my husband is enrolled in an adult day care program where he engages with other people and a variety of activities. As we continue our journey we know that our lives will not be overcome by the “sounds of silence” but will be surrounded and supported by a chorus of family, friends, and our community and…MemoryCare.

Becky Anderson, Caregiver

My Mom. My Hero.

MemoryCare has changed my family’s life, and the day that I met the staff was a turning point in Mom’s care.

Life doesn’t always take the path that you think it will.  Since there was no evidence in our family of memory disorders, it was hard to believe that Mom, of all people, was having problems.  Mom ate the right foods, kept her mind active, and was the poster child of health.

The thing about a memory disorder is that it creeps up on you.  A person may forget something or do something out of the ordinary and you think, we are all human and misplace things occasionally.  It is easy to force yourself to rationalize a loved one’s behavior, because, if you face the situation then you must deal with it and often times make hard decisions.

At the beginning, Mom moved into an independent retirement community.  A few years later, we noticed that Mom had started becoming forgetful about things like where she put her keys and purse.  We knew that we needed to address this as early as possible, and each day, I’m thankful that we found MemoryCare.

Mom bravely entered the MemoryCare office for her initial consultation.  In that one day, all things changed for us.  We now had a name for what was going on and a plan of action.  Even better, we had found a true advocate and friend.  MemoryCare staff helped Mom with her medicines and helped our family be the best caregivers possible.

In the last years, there were many changes.  Mom moved into assisted living and stopped driving.  Her memory failed, but her sweet, happy spirit kept going strong.  All of my life, Mom never missed an opportunity to make me feel special.  Somehow in all of the things that were lost, the generosity of spirit remained strong within her.

We are so fortunate to have had the caring staff at MemoryCare who made Mom’s life brighter.  I cherished each moment that I shared with Mom, and I thank MemoryCare for helping give us as many of those moments as possible.

Lyn Wiseman, Caregiver