A daughter, a caretaker, a friend: living with Alzheimer's in the family
OMAHA,Neb(FOX42KPTM)-Mary Ann Jorgenson was a school teacher for 34 years. Eight years ago her life changed forever. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at only 58. Earlier than many start showing signs. It's a disease that destroys memory and can eventually make living on your own impossible.
"She was very scared. It was very scary for all us," Amy Walton said. She is Jorgenson's daughter.
Instead of teaching, Jorgenson is now the student.
"We have to fill that teaching void in her life. We have to come in and make sure she gives us the attention and care she use to give students," Walton said.
Walton helped care for her mother for years, she did it with love, but more than just memories were lost for her.
"It was really hard for me to go through all those normal life changes without my mother's support. She really didn't remember all the things in my life," she said. “I graduated from graduate school, started a new job and recently had a baby."
Unfortunately, the disease runs in the family: Walton's mother cared for her husband with dementia for years.
Walton says she wants others who find themselves in a role like hers to know they're not alone.
"This isn't just an old person's disease, this can affect anyone,” she said. "Seek out resources learn as much as you can so you can be prepared for whatever happens."
There will be an Alzheimer's walk at Turner Park on September 24th. Walton will be there to show support for mother.