Chuck Jahneke: Cornerstone of Courage
When Chuck Jahneke met Anna Maria Caltagirone he was in his fifth year of studying architecture at University of Illinois in Chicago. The bond between them was undeniable and the two were married October of 1980. Chuck and Anna Maria led a happy life, alongside their daughter Kathryn. Anna Maria was “completely devoted to her daughter,” and always very active in her life. Attending to these obligations became more and more difficult as Anna Maria started displaying symptoms of memory loss. Chuck describes Anna Maria as always having “a very agreeable disposition, she was always kind and easy to get along with.”
After consulting several medical professionals, Anna Maria was diagnosed with phase 2 early-onset Alzheimer’s disease by doctors at Washington University in St. Louis, in February of 2008. She was 54 years old. As an architect, Chuck had the vision and capability to completely refit his house to meet his wife’s physical demands. He referred to professionals at Memory Care Home Solutions for free advice on how to avoid any potential at-home risks, and implemented the ideas immediately. Although these measures were time consuming, Chuck was eager to do as much as he could for the sake of his beloved wife.
The majority of Anna Maria’s family was still not convinced that her illness was due to Alzheimer’s disease. Chuck called Memory Care Home Solutions and confided in one of our caregiver consultants, asking them for help in this situation. An organized meeting with friends and family members was held. Anna Maria’s diagnosis was explained, and what should be expected in the months to come. Three months later on May 31, 2012, Anna Maria passed away in the comfort of her own home.
Chuck now co-facilitates two male caregiver support groups, participates in charity walks, and is working with Memory Care Home Solutions (initially as the project architect – and now to care for) the Headquarters and Caregiver Training Environment, a center for providing free and personalized advice and services to caregivers. He serves as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors.