According to the Alzheimerâ??s Association, there are 5.4 million Americans living with this disease. It's the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Perspectives Adult Care Center in Escanaba serves clients with Alzheimerâ??s and forms of dementia.
Mary Hurkman has been a participant at Perspectives for two years. She's in the early stages of Alzheimerâ??s, and her daughter, Lori Lynch, says she can't be left alone.
â??They enjoy the companionship and the reminiscing that happens here between all these individuals,â?? says Randy Daignault, Director of Perspectives. â??Most of them are able to retain their long-term memory, of course. Most of them have no short-term memory."
Music is one important therapy that helps these people connect. But they also take part in crafts.
â??I enjoy being at Perspectives because we make things together, and that makes me feel good inside," says participant, Mary Hurkman.
Perspectives serves about 29 participants in a year. Some of them stay at the facility for a few hours, some for five days a week. Their caregivers say the time spent apart is much needed.
â??It's a different role,â?? says Hurkmanâ??s daughter, Lori Lynch. â??It is like taking care of a child again at times. There are times that she's really good, and then other times that it is overwhelming. So you need that hour or two or whatever to have for yourself at times."
The facility lost state funding in 2009. They're now funded mainly through Community Action Agency.
The supervisor says they recently received a $25,000 donation from the John Besse Foundation. However, they're always appreciative of the many community donations that also assist them.