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Life Goes On  


Minds on Art


Olender Family Participates in Traverse City Walk to End Alzheimer’s


Team Family Matters Participates in Saginaw Walk to End Alzheimer's


Life Goes On

Life stopped seven years ago for Ryan Carey’s mom, Toni Rae, when her behavior seemed, as Carey says, “a little goofy.”
Toni was a registered nurse on the surgical floor, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain.  “She quit her job in 2007 when she was 52 years old because she said there was too much paperwork, too much hospital drama and the 12-hour shifts were too long.  But looking back, Carey says, “Things were going on that didn’t make sense at the time.  When she lost her keys, dad drove to the grocery store with the spare key.  The keys were in her purse the entire time.  We think she knew something wasn’t right and she didn’t admit it.” 
Three years ago, Toni had surgery to relieve the brain aneurisms.  “We had a glimmer of hope the aneurisms were causing her behavior. The long surgery was very hard on mom; her behavior was still odd after the surgery.  She was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.   Since the operation, she has not driven. Last year, she started to forget people’s names and who they are.  Her motor skills are declining, she can’t feed herself.  Simple things we take for granted, she’s not able to do them anymore.” Carey said. 

Carey is president of the family business, Carey Logging.  His dad, Jim, is his mom’s main caregiver.  A typical day in the Carey home begins when Jim goes to the office, across the street, for a few hours. Sisters, Lindsay and Erin, 28 and 23, respectively, help mom.  “Lindsay has Down’s syndrome; she lives at home.  She gets mom up and helps mom bath and eat.   After dad comes home, Lindsay leaves for work. Erin earned her MA in June and she’s getting married in October.  Erin moved back home, she lets dad know mom is ready for the day.   Dad takes mom to the office, she likes being there and she has a golden retriever, Ponsse.  “That dog stays with mom and never leaves her side.  Mom is confused and scared when new people arrive, and she doesn’t accept strangers well.  She can’t be away from dad for very long.  I worry it’s getting to be too much on dad’s health.  We are looking for a caregiver.”
Kylie, Carey’s wife, started a Walk team, Team Toni Rae, and they will participate in the Marquette Walk to End Alzheimer’s, September 26.  The family has raised $9,000 for the Walk.  Carey Logging is a Walk sponsor. 
The Carey Family will attend the Walk with Carey’s three children, Carver, three years old, Finley, two years old and Sawyer seven months.
Three children, very close in age, a wedding in October and taking care of their mom: it’s a busy life.  “We never stop moving,” chuckles Carey.  Life goes on.
To join or start a Walk team, visit alz.org/gmc.

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Minds on Art

"I love that Alzheimer's disease isn't brought up during Minds on Art.  We are just a group of people coming together to enjoy art discussion and art making," stated a care partner stated during a recent Minds on Art (MoA) session.

MoA is a collaborative art program with the Detroit Institute of Arts that provides social engagement and cognitive stimulation for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners.  MoA helps reduce stress, anxiety and enriches relationships. The program was designed after the MOMA Alzheimer's Project in New York.

MoA participants are in an enriching, safe and positive environment with an opportunity to create meaningful expressions through art discussion and creation.  No artistic experience is required! 

“We are looking forward to beginning our fourth year of Minds on Art.  It has been so amazing to watch the relationships grow among the DIA staff, volunteers and participants, and it’s been a great learning and educational experience for the staff to interact with those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.  The staff has been so inspired they formed their own Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.” said Jean Barnas, Minds on Art program coordinator. 

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Olender Family Participates in Traverse City Walk to End Alzheimer’s



The Olenders, a family impacted by Alzheimer’s, are committed to seeking a cure for the disease. Allen and Amy Olender’s father and mother, respectively, lived with Alzheimer’s disease. Allen, Amy and their children, Max and Teddie, will make their Walk to End Alzheimer’s a biathlon.  To read the entire story, click the More button.
The family will begin their Walk day at 8 a.m. with a 20 mile bicycle ride from Suttons Bay to Traverse City on the Leelanau Trail.

At 10 a.m., the Olenders will arrive at the Traverse City Civic Center to participate in the Walk. “We'll walk with everyone and then ride back to Suttons Bay to schmooze with folks who have [finished] the Leelanau Harvest Tour…also taking place that day and ending in Suttons Bay,” said Allen. Whom do you Walk for?  To join to start a team, visit alz.org/walk.  

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Team Family Matters Participates in Saginaw Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Kay Krajkowski’s father’s mind was swallowed by Alzheimer’s disease. 

Krajkowski says, “I hated seeing my dad lose all his abilities; he was such a great communicator.  He retired after 39 years as an insurance adjuster and served as president of the Saginaw Intermediate School District board
Before Dad passed away, I felt like there was something I had to do because no person, no family should have to go through this.”

Last year, Krajkowski participated in the Saginaw Walk to End Alzheimer’s with her immediate family and friends.  Even when her mom could not walk, Krajkowski’s son pushed his grandmother in her wheelchair along the Walk route. She says, “My dream was to have a Walk in Saginaw and my family is supporting me in my dream to keep it going. I have tears at the numbers of people who want to see an end to Alzheimer’s.”

For whom do you walk?  To start or join a team, visit alz.org/walk.

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.