I’m Betsy: Trail running and being outside is my outlet. Making tomorrow a little better is my passion. I have dedicated the last twelve years to being a program manager and consultant for sustainable energy. In the middle of those five years, my family and I were all caregivers to “Mom” – diagnosed with early onset dementia.
Unfortunately, brain degeneration (a.k.a. dementia) has impacted my life many times over the years:
- Uncle Steve when I was 8
- Mom and Nanny: both diagnosed in 2008 when I was only 24 years old. Mom was only 56.
- Most recently, Uncle Joe in 2020.
Through these ordeals, I learned:
- Dementia is not just memory: it strips our loved ones of everything that makes them human.
- It is the husbands, wives, sons and daughters that are often the caregivers – left alone to fend and care for their parents/spouse.
- One form or another dementia seems to impact nearly everyone.
Yet the public’s knowledge, opportunity to advocate, and the chance to support those suffering through this lonely disease is extremely limited.