Bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s disease

WASHINTON, N.C. (WITN) – Keeping a healthy lifestyle by exercising, physically and mentally, is important when aging, especially with the growing number and costs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Floyd Asby has seen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease harming the quality of life of his friends and himself.

“I don’t actually fear death, I fear Alzheimer’s a lot more. That’s a terrible, terrible way to go, you know,” Asby said.

That is why people like Asby gathered on Friday at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center to learn more about the disease affecting them and their loved ones.

“The program helps you understand all those behaviors and maybe recognize things that you don’t and steer you in the right direction to get help,” said organizer Deb Bauer.

According to Tiffany Woodward, a community educator for Alzheimer’s Association, it is normal to forget things with aging, such as appointments, but forgetting significant things such as a familiar recipe you followed your whole life could be a sign of risk.

Anne-Marie Hetzel came for her husband, who has been battling the disease for six years now.

She says the early signs were hard to notice.

“He didn’t hear. After he got hearing aids, which I insisted, you need hearing aids I need you to hear, it became apparent that there was something more than just hearing that was wrong,” Hetzel shared.

Now, she is seeking better ways to help and spread the knowledge on the disease.

“Maybe I can learn something new, helpful. We just take it one day at a time,” Hetzel said.

According to Woodward, early detection is key since no cure is known for Alzheimer’s disease, so being educated about better ways to understand and care for Alzheimer’s disease is important.