Finding Support to Help Care for a Loved One

Photo of Mary Kruszynski.

Mary Kruszynski’s mother Rosemary received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis five years ago. Her condition has grown progressively worse, but Kruszynski says the Alzheimer’s Association, Western New Chapter, is always there for the family.

Kruszynski, residency program coordinator in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, says for the first few years, her family managed her mother’s illness on their own.  But for the past year, the Alzheimer’s Association has been a constant and reassuring partner.

“The Alzheimer’s Association has been wonderful,” says Kruszynski. “They have given us so many resources that I couldn’t imagine now going through this without them.”

The challenges arising for caregivers of an Alzheimer’s patient are many. Kruszynski says her mother’s memory is better some days than others. There are physical and emotional costs, but the support of the Alzheimer’s Association guides the family through a difficult process.

The organization is arranging for respite care and met with  the family to review the options at treatments Rosemary receives as part of a clinical trial.

The support provides Mary and her father, Harold, with much needed relief.  At 94 years old, Harold remains active, walking and golfing regularly, activities up until a few years ago he and Rosemary did together during their 69-year marriage.

“I see this taking a toll on my dad,” says Kruszynski. “He’s with her most of the time.  I’m there and my sons help when they can, but the presence of the Alzheimer’s Association relieves us of some of that pressure.”

Kruszynski is grateful for the assistance. In addition to her annual gift, she’s taking part in the 2016 Buffalo Walk to End Alzheimer’s. More than 600 communities hold the walk annually.

“I know how wonderful the Alzheimer’s Association has been to us and I wanted to give something back to them,” she says.

The staff and volunteers have been a positive force for the Kruszynskis and Enstices and Mary hopes others will choose to give back as well.

“They do so much, for so many people, and one day it might be you or your parent or a sibling,” she says. “You don’t know how hard this is until you go through it.”

Kruszynski knows – and she know the Alzheimer’s Association is there too.

“This is such a worthy cause,” she says.