As the Director of Respite at Williamsburg United Methodist Church (WUMC), I’ve become close to many families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. I meet loving caregivers doing their absolute best along this journey, and family members doing their best to function in a very confusing world. Respite offers a bit of hope and joy to families, knowing their loved ones are engaged in a safe, stimulating, social afternoon filled with art, music, exercise, conversation and education while the caregiver can take a much needed break for themselves. I see our members smile and greet their new friends as they arrive; I see caregivers take a deep breath as they depart for an afternoon away.
Although we cannot cure the disease yet, we can conquer loneliness, boredom and helplessness that often plague individuals. Respite partners closely with our Williamsburg Alzheimer’s Association representatives to offer education and resources for our families. We connect caregivers with other caregivers so they can support one another along the journey. We provide social opportunities for families, in an environment where they can be who they are, and be ok with that.
I participate in the Williamsburg Walk to help the Alzheimer’s Association raise awareness and funds for research, care and support.
I participate in the Williamsburg Walk because I want a better world for our Respite members and their family caregivers, who are my friends.