Home is a place of comfort, peace and shelter to Boulder realtor Leslie Herz, but she knows from experience that it cannot be taken for granted.
“Boulder is my home,” said Herz. “I went to college here, raised my children here, and as a real estate agent with The Herz Team/Coldwell Banker, I’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of people create homes here. But through my experience with Alzheimer’s, I’ve found the disease can rob our homes of its ‘love story’ - the place where we take refuge and recharge becomes anything but that with a combative loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s.”
Herz has personally seen – and lived – the toll that Alzheimer’s takes on families. Her father-in-law passed from the disease in 2017, and her father is living with advanced Alzheimer’s today."
Another Alzheimer’s toll: the cost of care
Beyond the physical and emotional toll that Alzheimer’s takes on families, there is a financial impact that people often don’t expect.
“My dad had to sell his home to pay for the cost of his memory care, and we pray that it lasts,” Herz said. “It is so sad to see a lifetime of savings go in just a few short years to the exorbitant medical costs that come with Alzheimer’s. He had no long-term health insurance, and is currently paying $8,200 per month for care.”
A reason to get involved
An estimated 6 million people in the United States – including 76,000 Coloradans – are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. The sixth-leading cause of death and the only leading disease without a prevention, treatment or cure, it annually takes more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. That has helped inspire Herz to commit to sponsoring the Boulder Walk to End Alzheimer’s and raise funds to find a cure.
“Anything we can do as a team to help support awareness of this disease and how it affects not only the individual but the entire family and home structure will be a win-win for us!” she said.
The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – different but timely
The coronavirus has changed the way the Alzheimer’s Association is approaching the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Instead of forming a support group hundreds of people strong, this year people will walk individually or in small groups, social distancing for safety, but as committed as ever to raise money to combat this deadly disease.
“Covid unfortunately has not slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s with my dad or anyone else who is suffering from the disease right now,” Herz said. “But this year's Alzheimer's walk is great because COVID is NOT in the way of walking in place! Wherever we are, however long we want to walk, we can make a difference, separately and together.”
Herz and her team, The Gerry and Dan Dad’s Team, will be walking Sept. 12 in the Boulder Walk to End Alzheimer’s. To join her team, or make a contribution, click here
“The alarming spread of the disease is affecting everyone,” Herz said. “What a great time to get involved to raise money and awareness to make a difference and to hopefully contribute to a cure in our lifetimes.”
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.