Paula Gibson, Support Group Leader and Advocate, Eau Claire
“In a disease where so much is out of your control, volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association has made me feel like I’m making a difference.”
Paula has been volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association for over 15 years. She started volunteering as a Walk Chair for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Eau Claire, which she led for 9 years. She is currently a Support Group Leader and has been working with caregivers for 13 years. Her support group offers support and is a mixture of open discussion and speakers. “I wanted to make sure there were resources available in the community to help families like mine through their journey,” says Paula.
Paul has also been actively involved volunteering in Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association. “Attending Advocacy Day opened my eyes as to what needs to be done in terms of legislation,” says Paula. “Advocacy is needed to move the treatment and cure forward. Advocacy also helps educate legislators about the disease, not taking for granted that they know all the facts.”
Paula has a personal connection to the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association, having lost her father, grandmother and two aunts to the disease. Paula had the honor of being a caregiver for her father, Jerald, over his 10-year Alzheimer’s journey. “It may not be in my lifetime, but I want a world where there is a cure for Alzheimer’s in my kids’ lifetime,” says Paula.
Paula is the Regional Director of Communications and Engagement at Azura Memory Care. “My goal is to have a cure so my residents don’t need our services as readily,” says Paula. “I volunteer because I want to make a difference. I encourage others to get involved because we have to be willing to speak out for the mission.”