Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Babbs

VolunteerSpotlight - Sharon Babbs

Sharon Babbs
Sharon has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association for about 16 years. She lost her mother to Alzheimer’s 15 years ago, so she knows firsthand what it means to be a family caregiver. She knew she wanted to become involved with the Association in some capacity, so 18 years ago Sharon participated in what was then called the Memory Walk. Today, of course, we know it as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Since that first Walk, Sharon has been a volunteer, helping in any way she can. She has taken on the role of advocate as well as Walk Chair and Logistics Chair for the Coastal Virginia Walk in Virginia Beach. Most recently, Sharon has been serving as that Walk’s Volunteer Coordinator. To quote her, Sharon tells us that “the Chapter office and everyone in it are my second family.”

When she is not in volunteer mode, Sharon is mother to her sons Chad, Brandon and Benjamin. She is wife to her husband Robbie. As if her proverbial plate isn’t already overflowing, Sharon is the gifted resource teacher to 544 students at Luxford Elementary School in Virginia Beach.


Why I Walk Wednesday with Brettani Cropper

Why I Walk Wednesday With Brettani Cropper.png

Alzheimer’s took my paternal grandmother’s life in February of 2007. Now it is trying to claim my father’s. He was diagnosed with early onset in October of 2009. It is one of the worst diseases to watch a loved one go through. Besides the memory loss and not being able to perform daily tasks, the hardest thing for me to deal with is the personality change. My dad was very outgoing and loved to make people laugh (I’m sure that’s where I get it from), but since being diagnosed I have watched him go through many changes. You never realize the things you take for granted until they are taken away from you. What I wouldn’t give to be able to have a normal conversation with my dad again. Even though he is still here physically, I feel as though I’ve lost him. Having to experience all of this with not just one loved one but two, I hope to aid in finding the cure so that millions of families will not have to endure this horrific disease.

Williamsburg Walk
Brettani Cropper, Team Captain
Memory Savers

Why I Walk Wednesday with Pat Davis

Why I Walk Wednesday-  Pat Davis.png

Once again our team is supporting the Peninsula Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 7, 2017. As many of you know we have moved Mother to an Assisted Living/Memory Care Facility here in Virginia.  We walk to honor Mother as well as reclaim the future for millions of others.

I am so proud of Mother for her courage and positive attitude as she navigates this journey on uncharted waters. She continues to encourage those around her, participate in activities, and she still loves to sing. One lady said to her, “I do not know why I am here.” Mother’s answer was “Maybe this is where God wants you to be right now.” She then gave the lady a big hug.

Putting puzzles together has become one of her favorite activities and it is so good for her. My sister Kathy and I feel so blessed to have her close by. Even when she may not be sure who we are, she always enjoys a visit from family and friends. She also loves getting mail.

We are committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support. This is why we walk.

Peninsula Walk
Pat Davis, Team Captain
Pop’s Breakfast Babes Plus You

A Day for Caregivers

FullSizeRender (9)
A Day for Caregivers- Franklin

Thank you to all those who attended A Day for Caregivers in Hampton and Franklin this week! Over 100 attendees in Hampton and 50 attendees in Franklin engaged in conference sessions to gain practical skills they can apply in their caregiving roles. The conference started out with an overview of dementia presented in Hampton by Dr. Adel Aziz, MD, of Riverside Neurology Specialists, and in Franklin by Amanda Kubin, PA, Sentara Neurology Specialists. Mary Ann Toboz, Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach, then presented a music and arts workshop to teach participants achievable methods for delivering a variety of arts experiences that can be adapted for home or group settings. She had everyone up and singing! The latest in Alzheimer’s disease research was then presented by Dr. Hamid Okhravi, MD, of Eastern Virginia Medical School. Lori Hasty, GCNS-BC, presented our final workshop of the day on Validation Therapy which focuses on empathy and provides a means for Alzheimer’s patients to communicate. During breaks, Dr. Paul Aravich, Eastern Virginia Medical School, provided a brain demonstration to attendees.

A Day for Caregivers Conference is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Camp Family Foundation, Franklin Southampton Charities, and the J.L. Camp Foundation.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sally McClatchy

VolunteerSpotlight_Sally McClatchy


Sally McClatchy is an extraordinary volunteer for the Southeastern Virginia Chapter. Sally serves as a co-facilitator our Norfolk Peers & Partners early stage support groups, an office volunteer, a community educator. Sally regularly shares with staff and fellow volunteers that her work with the Alzheimer’s Association is her passion and she loves to be a volunteer.

Sally is a nurse by training, having received her BSN in Nursing from the Medical College of Virginia and her MS in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University. She also completed a fellowship in patient safety at Virginia Commonwealth University. During her career, Sally served as an emergency room nurse and taught at the School of Nursing at DePaul Hospital. During the latter part of her career, Sally focused her work on health care quality assurance.

The Chapter is certainly very grateful to have such a talented, caring volunteer like Sally on our team!

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiving Findings for Virginia

BRFFS Caregiving Blog Graphic.png

New data interpretations from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System proves the need for more Alzheimer’s advocates has never been greater, especially when considering the impact of the disease on caregivers. In this article, we have detailed the most profound findings in our hope to gain new Alzheimer’s advocates or renew a sense of urgency for our current advocates.

More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and 458,000 of those caregivers live in Virginia.

Caregiving is defined as activities performed that attend to another person’s health needs. It often includes assisting with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, dressing, or toileting, as well as independent activities of daily living, such as driving, paying bills, or grocery shopping.

Caregiving for a loved one has an incredible economic impact in the United States. Unpaid caregivers provide nearly 18.2 billion hours of informal assistance, a national contribution valued at $230.1 billion. Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women. (2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s Association). Caregiving duties also have a significant impact on the health of those providing care. Nearly 75% of caregivers nationwide stated that they are “very concerned to somewhat concerned” about their own health and nearly 1 in 3 caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia stated that their health has “become worse since assuming these responsibilities”.

In Virginia, we know that more than 60%of Virginia caregivers have been providing care for more than 2 years, and one-third provide care 20 hours or more a week. (2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System). Virginia caregivers reported that these responsibilities have a significant impact on their health with 13.1% reporting frequent poor mental health, 13.8% frequent poor physical health, and 23.6% reporting a history of depression.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Of the top 10 leading causes of death, it is the only cause without a way to prevent, treat, or cure the disease. Click here to learn how you can take action as an Alzheimer’s Advocate.

Virginia - 2015 CG BRFSS Fact Sheet


Subjective Cognitive Decline in Virginia


Alzheimer’s disease is a nationwide public health crisis, and it is having an increasingly significant impact on Virginians. New data interpretations from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System proves the need for more Alzheimer’s advocates has never been greater, especially concerning the cognitive effects of the disease.  In this article, we have detailed the most profound findings in our hope to gain new Alzheimer’s advocates or renew a sense of urgency for our current advocates.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that attacks the brain, killing nerve cells and tissue, and affects an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan. Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. There is no treatment or cure, and it is fatal.

Researchers believe that the early detection of Alzheimer’s will be key to preventing, slowing and stopping the disease. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s requires a careful and comprehensive medical evaluation, often with the help of a neurologist (2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s Association). The benefits of early detection include increased treatment options and access to information, services and support; advance planning for health, housing, finances, care and risk reduction; and better overall health outcomes.

This is especially important, as one in 11 Virginians aged 45 and older report that they are experiencing confusion or memory loss, and nearly half of them have not discussed it with their health care professionals (2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System). Referred to as Subjective Cognitive Decline, these memory impairments interrupt the daily life of affected Virginians. Nearly 30% stated they needed help with daily household chores, 25 percent had to give up day-to-day activities and 2 in 5 stated these memory impairments interfered with social activities.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Of the top 10 leading causes of death, it is the only one without a way to prevent, treat, or cure the disease. Click here to learn how you can take action as an Alzheimer’s Advocate.

Cognitive infographic

Join us for A Day for Caregivers!

A Day for Caregivers- Hampton Ad

The Alzheimer’s Association will host A Day for Caregivers Conference on June 20 in Hampton and June 22 in Franklin. The day-long conference is designed to provide family and professional caregivers with information and tools to enhance their skill sets and help them become more effective in their role.

This year we are excited to welcome two local experts who will lead us in extended hands-on workshops on two unique and interesting topics.  Maryann Toboz, Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach, will provide a morning workshop on engaging those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the arts of all kinds. There are increasing bodies of research that demonstrate how music, visual arts, dance, and other forms of arts engagement not only provide opportunities for self-expression but increase mental and physical health outcomes of those living with a dementia diagnosis. This workshop will be sure to engage caregivers in all types of settings.

We will also welcome Lori Hasty, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer, who will facilitate a workshop on Validation Therapy. Validation Therapy is a holistic therapy that focuses on empathy and provides a means for Alzheimer’s patients to communicate. This therapeutic modality uses techniques for connecting with individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia that enhances their dignity and improves their quality of life. Lori has trained with the creator of Validation Therapy, Naomi Feil.

A Day for Caregivers will also include a morning overview of dementia and a research update during lunch.

The cost is $10 and includes breakfast, lunch, and five hours of CEUs. To register or learn more, click here.

A Day For Caregivers Registration Packet 2017

Volunteer Spotlight: Micah Hunt


MicahMicah first got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2013 when he worked for Eagle Medical Transports, a proud sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s®.  As Micah learned more about the Association and its mission, his involvement and commitment increased.  Since 2013, Micah has been very engaged in the Walk as team captain and achieved Champion fundraiser status in 2014 (raising over $500) and 2016 (raising over $4,000).  In 2015, Micah was appointed to the Chapter’s Board of Directors, and in 2016 he volunteered to be an Advocacy Ambassador for the Association.  Over the past five years, Micah has done tremendous work raising awareness and funds for the Association.  Micah spends a lot of time out in the community and can frequently be seen dressed in purple, wearing his Alzheimer’s Association lapel pin.  Micah is also a social media guru and his frequent posts to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have boosted the visibility of the Alzheimer’s Association considerably.  Thank you, Micah for making a difference every day and for your commitment to realizing a world without Alzheimer’s.


How to raise your first $100.00


It’s time to get your fundraising efforts moving! Here are 5 ideas to help you raise your first $100 for The Longest Day.

  1. Post a link to your fundraising page on Facebook and tag 10 friends, asking them each to donate $10.00.
  1. Host a bake sale at your office, school, church or community center and put the proceeds toward your goal.
  1. Offer a “prize” for anyone who donates $100.00 or more … make them dinner, run their errands for a day, walk their dog …just to name a few.
  1. Host a barbecue or dinner and charge an entry donation to attend.
  1. Ask friends to pledge $10.00 for every mile you plan to walk/hike/ride/run, each song you plan to sing, every book you plan to read, etc.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Bet you can come up with a lot more!


Register now and start your team

The Longest Day is all about love. Love for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. On the summer solstice, team up with the Alzheimer’s Association and select any activity you love — or an activity loved by those affected — to help end Alzheimer’s. Together, we will raise funds and awareness for care and support while advancing research toward the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.