Haley’s Why I Walk Story | Yakima Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s
“I personally have not experienced Alzheimer’s directly, but professionally I encounter it on a daily basis.”
Over the last 7 years, Haley has been a social worker and behavioral health clinician, where she has worked with families and individuals impacted by various types of dementia and mental illness. She primarily has worked within a memory care unit at a nursing home that specializes in challenging behaviors associated with dementia.
“As a professional, struggles with Dementia fluctuated. Some days are good, and some days aren’t. Some days my residents or clients remember me, sometimes they need cueing, and sometimes they meet me all over again,” says Haley. “The struggle with this disease is always ebbing and flowing. You don’t know what you’ll get on any given day sometimes. As a compassionate human being and professional, the most difficult times are when the individual has these bad days where they can’t remember where they are, what day it is, when their husband or wife is coming to get them, and so on. Seeing the fear and confusion in someone’s eyes while the family is experiencing very similar emotions simultaneously is heartbreaking.”
The Alzheimer’s Association has been a resource for Haley throughout her career in a nursing home. “While I worked in a nursing home, I participated in the Care Community Coaching program to better serve my residents. With a team, we identified areas of improvement for care planning, education, and a more focused approach to person-centered care.” says Haley, “The Alzheimer’s Association gives me hope that with this walk, among all the other resources offered, if a loved one of mine does become diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia at some point, there are options, information, and support available.”
Finding herself with some spare time, Haley wanted to give back in a way that was fulfilling and gave her an opportunity to make a difference. We are thrilled to welcome Haley to our Yakima Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee this year! Without our community volunteers, none of this would be possible and it’s the passion and dedication of our volunteers that keeps us going.
“I walk for my past residents I cared for, the families I’ve met along the way, my current clients, and to bring awareness to the cause.”
Join the fight. With over 16 Walk to End Alzheimer’s events across Washington and North Idaho, there are endless opportunities to get involved. Volunteer for a walk, start a team or donate at alz.org/walk.
When we share our story, we remind others that they are not alone. Share your story, find your community and inspire others. Share your “Why I Walk” story at https://forms.gle/MhtysNcrkkQmTtk37.