Willing To Help
By: Michelle Remold
For as long as I can remember, Alzheimer’s disease has fascinated me. Since fifth grade, every research paper I wrote was able to, somehow, be tied to Alzheimer’s. I always knew I wanted to volunteer in dementia care units, but once I found out that I could have a career working with older adults and that I could work with families and individuals struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia, I was sold.
When it comes to learning about Alzheimer’s I seem to retain a lot of information about the disease and tend to jump at an opportunity to learn more about the disease. Last month I even bought a textbook on Alzheimer’s for no other purpose than to expand my knowledge.
It seems like with Alzheimer’s you can go from not knowing anything about the disease to be being overwhelmed with information, statistics, research articles, and so much more that it can be difficult to sift through it all and learn what is fact from fiction. It is incredibly overwhelming.
I have been lucky to have had college professors and mentors who have aided me in learning all that I know about Alzheimer’s and dementia. I have to say though, I am learning that while I do enjoy being around individuals who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is the caregivers that I am learning a lot from.
I love answering questions and am always willing to look up any information I am not sure about. People thank me for taking the time to talk with them or to get them some information they are searching for, but the truth is that they are guiding me into what I think will be my career path and I am more than happy to help. I have never seen it as an inconvenience to sit down and talk about dementia and Alzheimer’s, help with resources, or to just be a sympathetic ear. I am more than happy to help. After all, knowledge is power and the best way to increase knowledge about the various forms of dementia is to be willing to talk about them.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.