RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Tom McCann and his wife Kathleen made decades of memories together, but Alzheimer’s disease is robbing Kathleen of those memories, and changing the life she and Tom once knew.
“My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007,” McCann noted. ” We’re in year 16 of her journey.”
McCann spends his days caring for his wife.
“It’s hard doing the caregiving because it’s an ever-changing thing — no two days are the same,” he explained. “You may think that you want something to happen some certain way, but if she’s not at the same level she was the day before everything is off.”
Caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or cognitive impairment, can find information and support in the Triangle at an educational conference. It takes place next week and is hosted by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
“We educate individuals about caregiving tips and strategies, brain health and wellness, and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Charles Fuschillo, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “This gives them an opportunity to learn about the current state of Alzheimer’s disease research, and also to obtain a free memory screening at the conference.”
The conference will also give people a chance to connect with local resources here in Central North Carolina.
McCann belongs to a local support group and says it makes a big difference for him.
“We meet every month, and that is a tremendous help because all of us are dealing with the same type of problems but at different levels,” he said. “That way it’s a help to each other.”
He says taking good care of himself helps him take good care of his wife.
The conference takes place on October 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Raleigh North Hills Hotel. It’s open to anyone who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or cognitive impairment.
It’s free, but you do need to register in advance. You can register and find out more here.