In 1983, President Ronald Reagan commemorated November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
At the time, just less than two million Americans were affected by the ailment. Since then, that number has jumped to five million. Included in that statistic is Pastor Carl Grice.
“I’m Pastor Cloretta Grice, and my husband, Pastor Carl Grice, and he’s suffering at this time with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cloretta.
Cloretta and Carl have been together for 25 years; however, when Carl was first diagnosed, Cloretta faced a whole new hurdle.
“Things just doesn’t work for him anymore. He forget what to do. He forget how to brush his teeth, forget how to wash. Sometime he forget how to stand up and forget what to do. And it’s so difficult dealing with that,” said Cloretta.
For the most part, Cloretta has the help of family, friends and their church to get by, but she also understands that there are resources available.
“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, they have a website. And from that website is all the information that has to do with the screening program. And that’s just one area they do. They do a vast amount of education. They have resources,” said Jeff Brown, executive director of Broadmore Senior Living Center.
While the foundation helps patients who are already diagnosed, Brown says it doesn’t hurt to take a quick screening. But Cloretta and Carl are finding help and strength in their own way.
“You’re trusted to go, and the more you go through things, the stronger you get. Because you’re having to use strength that you never knew you had,” said Cloretta.