Alzheimer's gradually and relentlessly deteriorates a person's memory and cognition while seriously impacting their family members and friends their unpaid caregivers.
Most of those caregivers who attended this month's Alzheimer's Association Savvy Caregivers seminar in Lawton and plan to be at the Walk to End Alzheimer's Saturday said they know that impact first hand.
"It is a new role for them that they didn't look for, anticipate and plan for. In most cases, the situation is dumped on them. They get in and make it work ... (the seminar) helps them handle it better and give better care," said Diane Wood, who led the seminar and is the program coordinator and care consultant from the Alzheimer's Association in Oklahoma City.
The two-day seminar helped attendees gain a new perspective of the disease and their roles as caregivers.
After the first day of class, I had to apologize to (Paul Vampran) and to God ... I was being his nanny and I was doing everything for him. You need to find out what are the things they still can do," said Cynthia Demps, who as Vampran's friend stepped in to be his caregiver two years ago when he was diagnosed. "I asked him what he wanted to do and he wanted to shampoo his carpet ... so he did."