Mary is an administrator and executive in long term and post-acute care in Louisville, Kentucky.
How long have you been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and in what way(s) do you volunteer?
Since the early 1990s, I have been engaged with the Alzheimer’s Association in some capacity. I served on the board in the mid-90s, I have been a support group leader for many years, and this year, with the significant help of the team at the Nazareth Homes, I am the chair of the Louisville Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Why do you support the Association? How has Alzheimer’s disease personally affected you?
I began working with the Association before my father developed Alzheimer’s disease. Having spent many years in mental health, it was important for me to be a part of the story educating community on what Alzheimer’s disease is and what it is not. As a health care provider, advocacy is our responsibility and we take it seriously. Now, having lost my father in 2003, my mother is affected and it seems that my friends and family circle are also now impacted.
What else are you involved in within your community?
I am involved with the professional and advocacy associations, the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities and Leading Age. Again, those of us who are professionally at work in the important area of aging, have a responsibility in the community to educate the public and the elected to what we know about needs of the community and the impact of policy. I am also on the board of the THRIVE Center, an experience, research and advance center where technology and care innovation come together to support aging and wellness.
Why would you encourage others to support the Association?
A strategy for aging well is to find something that helps others. The Alzheimer’s Association has many areas where the community and others can be served through the commitment of time and talent.
Is there anything else you would like us to include or know about you?
Ageism in our culture continues despite the growing numbers of aging persons. I hope that we all can commit to change our minds and our language about what is aging and how growing older does not mean we are less than before.