Thomas Glaser, a caregiver in St. Louis, was awarded the Memory Care Home Solutions “Volunteer of the Year Award” in 2012 dedication to spreading awareness in the community for caregivers and those diagnosed with Dementia. His inspiration for this philanthropic work was his beloved wife of 55 years, Marjorie.
The two dated through high school and college, and were married in 1958 after Tom returned from the army. Many years and five children later, Marjorie slowly began showing symptoms of memory loss. Anxiety, chronic pain, and depression were among the many symptoms of Dementia that became a daily struggle for Marge around the age of 65. In 2009, they confirmed a diagnosis of Dementia.
Tom contacted Memory Care Home Solutions. Because Marge’s state of health required a high degree of attention and care, Tom felt the most practical option for his wife and his family was to move her into adult day care, as suggested by the professionals at Memory Care Home Solutions. This not only provided medical assistance and professional supervision, but also gave Tom the ability to continue working and take care of errands. Marjorie was able to socialize with others facing similar health issues, and thought of herself as a “volunteer” there. Although her health and memory was declining, Marge was still the vibrant and loving person Tom fell in love with at age 14.
Tom used this as motivation to establish a free health fair at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish Center. With help of Memory Care Home Solutions and the Parish, Tom was able to welcome over 350 people into the Parish that day. This one-time fair became a semi-annual event. Although Marge’s health began to decline rapidly in 2013, she was always given the highest quality care because of Tom’s vast knowledge of the services available in the community. Marjorie peacefully passed away July 8th, 2013.
“What Memory Care has is very needed… it was just the idea that there was help out there, I knew nothing but they helped me through it.”
Alice Whitman and her beloved husband, Tom, had been happily married for 52 years when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Three weeks after his diagnosis, they were on the bus, en route to their granddaughter’s graduation. Suddenly Tom urged the driver to stop at a highly trafficked intersection in busy St. Louis, determined to get off the bus. “There’s the place! There’s the place!” He repeated. After escaping from his wife’s grasp, Tom jumped off the bus and bound down the congested street. Devastated and unsure of what her next move should be, she called Memory Care Home Solutions.
She explained the crisis and was directed to Jill Cigliana, an occupational therapist with years of experience consulting caregivers and aiding those with cognitive impairment, for immediate advice. She knew exactly what her next move should be. Jill instructed Alice to call 911, describe what her husband was wearing, where he was last seen, and explain his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Feeling broken-down from the stress and gravity of the ordeal, Alice confided in Jill she felt she could no longer care for her husband at home.
Thanks to the professional advice from Memory Care Home Solutions, Alice felt relief as Tom was located and treated by his physician. Memory Care Home Solutions provided her additional information on adding formal support services and transitioning to residential care.