Message from Eric Royes, President
Imagine you just landed in a new city to attend an important event, you checked into your hotel room, you still have four hours before your event, so you decide it’s a good time to take a nap. Approximately thirty minutes into your nap your phone rings, you open your eyes and for a split second everywhere and everything seemed out of place, you lose all sense of location, the exit door, bathroom, and everything else is out of place, it’s a total confusion of time and space, until suddenly it all comes back that you are in the hotel room for that event later.
Thank God, this total confusion lasted only a split second, everything is now back to normal. Well unfortunately, with the Alzheimer’s patient it does not come back, that is his or her world. Now imagine you are the caregiver of that person who relies on you to navigate him or her through this new, strange confused world. It goes without saying that both the caregiver and the loved ones, life has changed forever. We can only imagine, if this is neither you nor I, but we can also imagine that this is happening to someone, somewhere, in the real world. Fortunately, you and I have the opportunity to make a difference by supporting the cause in whatever way we possibly can. Among all the diseases that affect us today, Alzheimer’s is probably among the most popular of the few for which there is no cure, and the only one of which the patient is unable to represent or lobby for himself or herself.
As President of United Managed Care, Alzheimer’s Support Group, and on behalf of the entire team, I ask you to join the cause of the caregivers to say we will help you through this difficult journey.
The task is not easy, and we cannot do it alone, but with your generosity and support , we can make this a positive effort of “ giving and receiving”.
Our local, State, and National Governments are working diligently to find a cure for the disease, the Alzheimer’s patient is in their focus, but the Caregiver is oftentimes overlooked.
The goal of United Managed Care, Alzheimer’s Support Group is to increase the frequency of educational workshops, and to help establish more support groups where caregivers can share experiences and learn coping skills from their peers.
I believe no matter how difficult the caregiver may look at life, if we all do our part, we can make it a beautiful life.
You may ask, what is a beautiful life?
To borrow the words of a wise writer.
A Beautiful life “Quote does not just happen… It’s built daily with Love, Laughter, Sacrifice, Patience, Grace and Forgiveness”
Message from K. Max Williamson, Vice President, Public Relations Director
Greetings with love to everyone!!
It's with considerable passion that I share sincere thanks to all who've supported the humanitarian cause of the United Managed Care Alzheimer's Support Group Inc. (UMCASG) since inception.
I was moved, touched, and inspired to become an active participant and contributor since July 2018. For years, I observed the intense, emotional, mental, and physical commitment that caregivers of loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's disease endure. Caregivers have many responsibilities so it is important to have a support network to take care of their well-being. It was based on those observations that I was inspired to commit to the cause of "Caring for the Caregivers".
I hope as we expand the awareness and purpose of this cause that UMCASG embodies, many more of you will participate in supporting the caregivers while advancements are made toward methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure.
United Managed Care Alzheimer's Support Group. "We care, Do you?"
Sharon Dove, Program Director
Three years ago, when I was introduced to UMCASG and invited to become a part of the organization, I didn't know much about Alzheimer's, despite the fact that I had relatives who had succumbed to the disease and some who were living with the disease. I was just out of school and therefore had some extra time to devote to a good cause, so I figured, why not. Little did I know then, that Alzheimer's was already at my front door and would reach home within the first year of being involved with UMCASG. This disease is impartial to no one and when it hits, sometimes close relatives have no choice but to fill the gap as caregivers.
I had suddenly become one of the over 15 million Americans who provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. In 2016, these caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of care valued at over $230 billion. Thirty-five percent (35%) of these caregivers report that their health has gotten worse due to care responsibilities, compared to caregivers for older people without dementia. This is where UMCASG comes in.
People hear the word, "Alzheimer's" and for most, it simply means forgetfulness. However, it is so much more than not remembering. There are so many different facets to this disease. UMCASG is here to educate and to bring awareness of this disease to as many people that we can reach. In addition, we want to make certain that the caregivers are aware of all the resources available to ensure that they are not stressed and remain healthy; without the caregiver the patient is doomed. Alzheimer's caregivers frequently report experiencing high levels of stress. It is overwhelming to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, but too much stress is counter-productive. If you as a caregiver experience signs of denial, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, sleeplessness, irritability, lack of concentration, or health problems, please talk to your doctor.
UMCASG is here to help direct the Caregiver in the right direction to overcome some of these obstacles, and we do this by providing seminars and workshops geared toward the caregiver. Experienced speakers from the Alzheimer's Association, as well as the University of Miami Research Department, and Broward Health have all brought informative information in an enlightening manner to the attendees. Through these seminars and workshops, Caregivers learn the Community Resources that are available, where to get and find support, relaxation techniques, become an educated caregiver, how to take care of themselves, and the importance of having their loved ones make legal and financial plans.
We also set aside time for fun and time to exhale. We had a BINGO night, a Birthday Celebration, and a Barbecue. Of course, every event consisted of games, food, and dancing. Through it all, we strive to release the stress through these fun activities.
We have big plans for 2018. We plan to reach twice as many Caregivers through our Seminars and Workshops. There is no cost to attend these events and a meal is provided. We also hope to add an additional seminar bringing to total to four per year. Another goal is to financially support at least five Caregivers in respite care. Last year we were able to help one family achieve this goal. That's a start. In 2018 we will work toward helping 5 families, and build that number by 5 each year for the next 5 years. A portion of the funds we receive from the Dinner and Dance on October 28th, will be dedicated to this cause.