Annually our organization leads the state’s Candlelight Reflections ceremony. On the first Thursday of November, candle lighting ceremonies are held across North Carolina in honor of National Alzheimer’s Month and National Caregivers Month. To raise awareness, the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina hosts the ceremony in Raleigh and offers materials and support to other organizations interested in hosting their own event.
INSPIRATION & HOPE
“I flew back to Canada yesterday, but I wanted to thank you for your help and support while I was in NC. It made an enormous difference to be able to discuss the craziness of life with my mother lately; sharing may not exactly normalize the experience, but it does validate it! As does humor and empathy, and both seem to be in large supply at AlzNC.”
“Thank you so much for the call and time you took to speak to me this morning. For the first time since my mother started going through this, I feel stronger and more confident in learning how to deal with everything. I cannot tell you how much your organization has helped me in such a short time. It is very much appreciated.”
“Please know your work and dedication is of great value. I hope I’ve conveyed that to you the times we met.”
“Thanks so much for your valuable input. I know the truth and reality of caregiving can be difficult to share with new ones. Your frank and cautious observation is well appreciated.”
“Thank you so much for your assistance today. Just talking with you helped me feel less overwhelmed. I know my family is facing a long and tough road, but at least now I don’t feel so alone.”
“AlzNC is truly a ray of sunshine and a beacon of hope at a time when my family is dealing with a long term and progressive diagnosis. And we are ever grateful to have access to a myriad of resources that we will need moving forward.”
STORIES OF HOPE
“First of all, I must tell you what an incredible experience the Caregiver Conference was for my mom. She attended along with two staff members from the community where my grandfather lives. (She shared the information you sent me about the conference with them and they decided to attend with her!) She said it was incredibly informative and she wished she had known eight years ago what she knows today. The two staff members said it was by far the best continuing education experience they’d ever attended and will definitely go back each year.
But, the most important takeaway, in my opinion, was when my mom said she no longer feels guilt. This was huge for her! She understands now that she has and is doing exactly what is needed for him. And, that there is really no way to fully understand what dementia feels like. Today she understands far better than ever and feels less overwhelmed. For this shift, I’m incredibly grateful.” — Shelley
“My father-in-law’s dementia started getting really bad last year. My husband, who is retired from the Army and has never been to a support group or asked for any help in any situations, finally admitted that he needed to talk to someone. Due to his military background, he’s not comfortable discussing much of anything, let alone personal issues. I found AlzNC online and reached out to get information about a support group meeting.
We attended our first meeting in December. I wasn’t sure how my husband would react. He sat there the first hour just listening. I finally spoke up towards the last 30 minutes and that’s when he just took over and started telling everyone about his father. He had so much guilt having to lie to his father about putting him in memory care, etc. At the end of the meeting, tears of joy were flowing and we were hugged by many people.
I asked my husband on the way home how he felt about the group and if he’d go back next month. He said he’d definitely go back the following month. He’d learned so much from the group and felt so relieved to know other caregivers are going through the same situation.
I’ve since become a volunteer for the organization. AlzNC has been a blessing to both myself and my husband. We feel extremely comfortable at the support group meetings and plan to continue joining the group as much as possible.” — Lisa
“I would like to express the heartfelt gratitude of my family and me for the assistance you recently provided to us. About a year ago my father was diagnosed with dementia. As a family, we’ve all come to different levels of acceptance: my mother, as the primary caregiver, and me as the secondary caregiver being most accepting, and my siblings to lesser and varying degrees. As my father has experienced periods of relative “stability” mixed with periods of instability and decline over the last couple of years, he’s still (we believe) in the first stage of dementia.