When the Edgemere senior living community in Preston Hollow hosts its first Satellite Walk fundraiser in conjunction with the Greater Dallas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the cause will hit close to home for one Park Cities resident.
Ellen Welch, who plans to participate in the event on Friday, had both of her parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“I’m walking for my parents,” Welch said. “Even though we’ve come a long way in fighting this disease, we still have a long way to go. Awareness is the first step.”
Welch’s story, like many adult children caregivers, is one of heartbreak, dedication, love and sacrifice.
“My dad was diagnosed first and my mom was diagnosed a few years after his death,” she said. “They were a great team together. They lived in Louisiana, so it was hard not being there for them as much as I would have liked. We tried to keep their independence for as long as we could by having home health help with my father, but eventually that wasn’t enough. I noticed bills weren’t getting paid and pills weren’t being taken.”
“My mother did everything right. She ate healthy. She exercised daily and volunteered regularly after retiring from teaching,” Welch said. “My father, on the other hand, he didn’t take care of himself like he should have after retiring from a successful career as a dentist. He had high cholesterol and wasn’t very active. It just proves that Alzheimer’s disease can happen to anyone. After my father passed away, I brought my mom to Edgemere in Dallas so she could be close to me.”