Rhonda Story is an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer in Post Falls, ID, who has worked with seniors in the area for the past several years. After attending a community forum in May of 2022, she learned that few caregivers knew about the Alzheimer’s Association. Because of her close connection with friends and family that have been affected by this disease, Rhonda was inspired to learn more and provide support however she could.
“After the forum, I got plugged in with online training and co-leading support groups. I love facilitating support groups. I don’t pretend to have all of the information as I am still learning, but watching those with experience help others is truly a privilege,” says Rhonda.
Rhonda is an absolute force in her community for the fight to #ENDALZ. She works part-time as an outreach coordinator at the Post Falls Senior Center, and her passion for supporting seniors is contagious. And when she isn’t fishing, camping, kayaking, or playing with her grandson in her spare time, she generously gives her time to facilitate two support groups in Post Falls, ID, and even helps provide transportation to seniors wanting to attend the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
We had the opportunity to ask Rhonda a few questions about how Alzheimer’s has impacted her life and what inspires her to keep pushing forward in the fight to #ENDALZ!
How have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impacted your life?
Personally, my family hasn’t been affected. My sister-in-law lost her father to Alzheimer’s, and I see it on a regular basis in my line of work. My parents have passed, and I have since made it my mission to help seniors network with the support services they need.
What has been the hardest part of working with those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers?
Some things cannot be changed. It is so hard to watch people go through struggles when you can’t help and try to fix it.
What do you want others to understand about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who may not have experienced it first-hand?
Alzheimer’s affects many different people in many different ways. No matter how much you know about the disease or how much information you gather about its effects, everyone is different, and the approaches to certain circumstances always vary.
What gives you hope?
Watching others who have experienced the trials with their loved ones standing side by side with people just starting out with a new diagnosis.
If you are a caregiver or an individual living with Alzheimer’s, you don’t have to do this alone. The Alzheimer’s Association offers free support groups throughout the region. To learn more, visit alzwa.org/support.
You can also find support and resources by calling our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900. Our helpline is available around the clock, 365 days a year. This free service is staffed by specialists and master’s-level clinicians and offers confidential support and information to people living with dementia, caregivers, families, and the public.