Below is a message from former YPAA Chair, Leland Strott.
Alzheimer’s Disease is not just an old person’s issue – it affects the people who become caregivers, family, friends, and all the people who care about them, young or old. My grandmother didn’t display signs of Alzheimer’s until after my grandfather passed away. In the four years that followed, my family and I witnessed her fading memory – names, places, and faces all drifted away. We continued to visit and bring pictures and share stories, and we remembered her through our own stories and memories.
For those people who are affected, having a person or a group of people to talk to about their experiences makes a huge difference. That’s why I was thankful to be part of Young Professionals for Alzheimer’s Awareness when our group first started. I’m thankful to have other young professionals, people who are facing similar experiences, to share my stories, memories, and struggles with.
My grandmother has since passed, but I’m still involved with YPAA. What makes YPAA great, aside from having a resource of other young professionals to share experiences with, is knowing that our activities are helping to make a difference in Alzheimer’s awareness and research. The events we put on help raise awareness and break the stigma that it’s just a disease for old people.
I look forward to the growth of YPAA, and seeing what we’re able to do to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s among younger generations.