Rose's Story: Alzheimer's Caregiver
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Approximately 400,000 New Yorkers are living with Alzheimer's disease, with an estimated 1 million unpaid caregivers. Rose Carnegie is one of those caregivers.
"It was a very hard diagnosis to take. I took him to four doctors before I accepted it," Rose says.
Rose Carnegie's husband, Bill, was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1997. The disease diminishes a person's memory and mental functions slowly over time. Rose became Bill's primary caregiver for the next 13 years until he passed away in 2010.
"I watched him digress from a 180 lb athletic man to an 80 lb person laying in a bed who did not know who he was or where he was or who we were," Rose explains.
Like so many other caregivers, the challenges of that role can take a toll.
"You know I never wanted to be a nurse and I did more things than a nurse does than I ever thought I would," Rose says, overwhelmed with emotions.
"We had to feed him, we had to change his depends, we had to bathe him," she adds.
Rose found solace through family and friends during the hardest times, but continues her fight today to help find a solution.
"It helped that the kids were so supportive and we got through it and now we gotta find a cure," she says.
Since Bill's diagnosis in '97, Rose and the family have participated in the Annual Walk to End Alzheimer's. The event not only provides support to bring patients and caregivers to join together, but also raises money for continued research to help find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
The 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer's is happening on Saturday, October 19th at Eldridge Park. https://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=12575&pg=entry