WEST MONROE, La. (01/09/2020)– More than 5.8 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. About 82,000 of those cases are here in Louisiana. Experts say as the population increases, these numbers are expected to rise. Gale Baldree’s husband was diagnosed with dementia about 10 years ago. Since then she has taken on the role as his caregiver.
“I’m an art teacher, at 79 I just retired,” Baldree said. “One of the reasons I retired is I wanted to be at home with him. I’m doing everything I can. I love him.”
Baldree has read up on what she can do to help her husband work through his dementia. Her research led her to the Ouachita Valley Library.
“I drop him off at this beautiful library to read the newspaper,” Baldree said. “I question, well if he has this dementia, why is he why is he reading? Why is he comprehending? So maybe it’s just me not wanting to face the fact that this disease is attacking him and of course I think it’s attacking me.”
Baldree says it was because of the trips to the library that she found out about the Alzheimer’s Association’s support groups.
“It’s startling to me to see how many people are being attacked by dementia,” Baldree said.
Although a cure hasn’t been discovered, she says it’s support groups like these that have taught her she is not alone.
I learned that there is hope. That’s what we all want is hope.
Experts predict that in the next 30 years, 13.8 million people may be living with Alzheimer’s if researchers aren’t able to prevent or find a cure for the disease. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is doing what they can to raise awareness and funds through their annual walk to end Alzheimer’s. This year the walk will be on October 17th at the Glenwood Medical Mall.
The next free support group held by the Alzheimer’s Association will be held at the Ouachita Valley Library on February 10 from noon to 1pm.
To find out how you can volunteer with upcoming events you can visit alz.org/volunteer
For more information on education, help with decision making, and support you can call 800-272-3900