The Gayle Wells Foundation for Early Onset Alzheimer’s & Care (GWF) is launching a new initiative in the delivery of education and services. Fundraising has begun to purchase a mobile bus to bring education, awareness, support, and services directly into the community, not only for those impacted by early onset Alzheimer’s disease, but all memory conditions. This will allow us to remove boundaries to service, thereby reaching those in metropolitan and rural areas, as well as individuals from all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Services to be provided on the bus will include: education, awareness, private consultations, support groups, caregiver respite, peer-to-peer support, and referrals to memory care resources in the community. It is the goal of the GWF to have the bus operational by September 2017. In the meantime, the GWF can still assist in providing these services to individuals and organizations.
Upon receiving a diagnosis of a degenerative memory condition, individuals and families are often left with many questions on what to expect and where to get help. A goal of the GWF is to become a care pathway, by which individuals and families will have access to a more streamlined approach in obtaining proper medical care, information, resources, support, and programs. The GWF will be a leader of social change in the understanding, treatment, services, and care for individuals with memory conditions and their families.
“When a loved one is battling Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of degenerative memory condition, there are countless decisions to be made, and the stress of caregiving is immense. Resources are available, but finding that information is often difficult and fragmented. By bringing information and resources into the community, it is our hope to provide guidance and support to individuals and families. They are not alone on this journey and we are committed to the care and protection of all impacted by memory conditions.” says Laura Sutherland, founder and executive director of the GWF and care partner to Gayle.
Gayle Wells was a native Houstonian. After surviving three separate cancers within four years, and experiencing memory problems that did not improve, Gayle was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009. It became evident after her diagnosis, that there was very little information available as to the progression of the disease, as well as minimal programs and services for those with early onset Alzheimer’s. Gayle died from early onset Alzheimer’s disease in September 2011.
The first event being held to raise monies for the bus is the 2nd Annual Forget-Me-Not Golf Classic. The tournament will be held on Monday, September 19, at Hearthstone Country Club, in Houston. Individuals and companies can be involved with this event through playing golf, becoming a hole sponsor, and purchasing an Honor/Memory sign for their loved ones. Complete details on the tournament, as well as online registration for all aspects of the tournament, can be found at www.gaylewells.org/events.
For more information, please contact:
Laura Sutherland, LMSW
Founder & Executive Director