Raise Your Voice for Care
October 30, 2015
Raise Your Voice for Care, hosted by the Loyola Clinical Centers in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, gave great insight into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The event featured panel discussions about Alzheimer’s, free memory screenings, free hearing screenings, information about living with hearing loss, and a virtual dementia tour. The day ended with a concert on the Quad by Washington, D.C.-based band Honor By August.
One of the most emotional sessions was “Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” featuring Amanda Thomas, Ph.D., dean of Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, and the Kammerer family. The Kammerer family, including Patrick, ’14, Colleen, ’16, and Katie, ’17, spoke about their father, Brian, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s 15 years ago. Their mother, Kathleen, was also on the panel.
Patrick read a poem he wrote about his father while on a retreat during his undergraduate years at Loyola. His sisters are two of the founding members of Loyola’s AFA student chapter.
During her talk, Thomas discussed being patient with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, along with finding humor in certain situations. She shared a personal example: when her mother began hoarding strange items, like paper cups.
“You can get upset, or you can say, ‘look at these 150 paper cups she hoarded and never used,’” Thomas said.
Thomas also reflected on the teachings of St. Ignatius, and how his words helped her as a caretaker.
“St. Ignatius said you have to meet a person where they are. I had to meet my mother where she was. I had to pay attention to her needs. Alzheimer’s is awful. My mother was awesome.”