October 20th, 2019

Legacy Giving: Legacy giving takes some stress away from patients, families and caregivers

By Medicine Hat News on September 17, 2019.

News photo
Alariss Schmid, regional lead, Medicine Hat, Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories, looks at a chart of featuring the 10 signs of caregiver stress, often associated with those who have a loved one dealing with Alzheimer's disease.

Legacy giving can make all the difference for the Alzheimer’s Society, allowing the organization to focus its attention on the needs of people with a diagnosis of dementia and their loved ones.

“Families living with dementia are often juggling many demands daily and cannot participate in our annual fundraising campaigns,” said Alariss Schmid, regional lead, Medicine Hat, Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories.

Legacy giving helps provide the necessary financial support for the Alzheimer Society so that people dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and/or their caregivers are able to access what they need through the organization.

Legacy giving is often a way for those who have appreciated the services to give a financial contribution to the cause, said Schmid.

“Legacy gifts can be transformational for us as they allow forward thinking for planning of client services, education programs, and grant funding for research,” said Schmid.

The request for services at the local level can be significant.

Schmid says that between Sept. 1 and Sept. 9 this year the Medicine Hat office, of the Alzheimer Society of AB & NWT, accepted 12 new families seeking support for a new diagnosis of dementia. It also organized support for 24 clients needing a six-month follow-up contact, and hosted two meetings for the existing 62 members in a support group.

“This is a lot of activity for nine days,” said Schmid. “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to anyone considering a legacy gift for our agency.”

Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible. The disease destroys brain cells, affecting thinking ability and the person’s memory deteriorates. It is not a normal part of aging, according to the organization’s website.

The condition was first identified in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer who identified two key factors about the disease – “plaques” the many dense deposits scattered in the brain that become toxic to brain cells at excessive levels. The other was “tangles” that interfere with processes and ultimately choke off the living brain cells that degenerate and die. The brain shrinks markedly in some areas.

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