IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's Hanover - Honoree Story
In 1995, Gladys Dietrich was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A devastating diagnosis that brought many changes and challenges for her and her family. Gladys was a woman full of energy. After a life of dairy farming with early mornings and long days – retirement brought those same early mornings – often to get a batch of bread in the oven. Her biggest loves were her family and her kitchen. Those tastes and smells have many memories for those who knew her. Her husband Ed, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren had 9 years with her after diagnosis – supporting her and each other. In her last years – she barely spoke and yet her message was clear. “She continued to teach us – long after there were no more words” is a saying that perfectly describes her gentle, courageous journey with this disease.
It has been sixteen years since Gladys passed in 2003, but on Saturday May 11th, her family will come together once again and take part in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s to honour her memory.
This year the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce has selected Gladys and her gang to be the honoree family at the event’s Hanover location. The family has long supported this cause and have been advocates for people living with dementia and their care partners.
Her family recognizes the role that the Alzheimer Society played in their family’s journey. They stated that their father “found great benefit in the coping mechanisms provided by the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce, as well as the day-to-day concerns and experience of the other care givers during weekly support groups.” Just knowing that others had similar feelings and experiences made things a little easier.
When things would get to be too much for one of them, another could step in and step up. They advised that, “every family’s situation and circumstance are unique and for us it was easier just to take that one day at a time, or one phase at a time, and work thru it as best we could.” Most importantly, they stressed the importance of asking for help when you need to, it “doesn’t mean you have failed as a caregiver, or son or daughter, it means that you are reaching out to get the support you need to care for your loved one.”
With their mother in mind the family is mindful of their own health. They promote physical exercise and learning new things as two of the easiest ways to improve your brain health at any age. Gladys’ Gang have chosen to continue supporting the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce even after such a long time because they “recognize all of the assistance we received throughout mom’s journey.” By fundraising, Gladys’ Gang ensures that current families are able to receive support just as they were able to sixteen years ago.
The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s supports local people living with dementia. It is the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce, an organization that supports more than 1,000 local families living with dementia in Bruce and Grey Counties. All funds raised will stay local to support programs and services.
This year’s event at Sulphur Springs just outside Hanover will feature many family friendly activities including a scavenger hunt, ball pit, pony rides and more. Walks will also take place across Grey-Bruce in the Town of Blue Mountains, Saugeen Shores, and Owen Sound. Come out and join in raising awareness and funds on May 11. You can register that morning starting at 9:00 (walk begins at 10:00am) or you can register online at alzgiving.ca/hanover or contact the office at (519) 376-7230.
You can register for the other locations at the links below: