Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating terminal neurodegenerative disease that impairs memory, motor function, and emotional response. An estimated 5.8 million Americans are currently afflicted with this disease, and their numbers are growing rapidly.
Alzheimer’s Buddies is a response to the profound isolation and social disengagement experienced by people in the intermediate-to-late-stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Student volunteers are paired with nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s (the volunteer’s “buddy”) in order to form meaningful relationships over the course of a Carleton term or longer. Our initiative encourages students to take the mindset of a friend rather than of a care provider, to learn about their patients’ past and passions, to establish real friendships. This interaction not only provides patients with a unique outlet, but also provides students with a formative clinical experience and formal training on this devastating disease
When you volunteer with Alzheimer’s Buddies, you join an intergenerational response against the social isolation imposed by Alzheimer’s Disease. An Alzheimer’s Buddies chapter not only offers volunteers the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Alzheimer’s residents and their families, but also to develop a stronger understanding of their personal identity, build new social skills, and make new friends.
Please visit the National Alzheimer’s Buddies website for more information and testimonials.