In Ellen Clements’ family, Alzheimer’s disease has had a significant impact. For her dad, a brilliant man who read maps for fun, wandering and confusion about where he was were two telling signs of the effects of the disease. Through her experiences with her sister, Ellen has become very knowledgeable about caregiving and the steps that families should take when supporting a family member.
Ellen first connected with the Alzheimer’s Association through Volunteer Hampton Roads, and she is always looking for ways to reach out to groups to raise awareness and help families. “I bring up the conversation and let people know I’m a Community Educator.”
“And, I think that my family experiences give me credibility,” Ellen said. “It’s been a journey, and it helps people to know that I have been through it myself.”
Ellen attended the University of Delaware and then graduated from Humboldt State University in California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in communications. “I know that’s an odd combination, but it works to help me stay organized and to be able to relate well to people,” she says.
Ellen received her Certification in Christian Education in the United Methodist Church through courses at Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C., and is a retired Christian educator and a Biblical storyteller. Her son is a voice actor, and Ellen took a class to learn the art of voice acting.
Ellen has lived in Virginia Beach for about 26 years and has been married for over 40 years. In addition to her son, Ellen has a daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. She is active in the community, spends a lot of time at the library and participates in book studies with members of the Women’s Faith Focus group at Community UMC in Virginia Beach.
With her family history in mind, Ellen is focused on keeping active, exercising, eating healthier and learning new things. “There is hope, but it’s a difficult disease, and I want to understand it the best that I can,” she said.