Four teenagers organized a soccer clinic at the the Beaconsfield Recreation Centre to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society of Montreal for the second straight year.
“I’m extremely encouraged that we have young people who are committed to this cause,” said Camille Isaacs-Morell, Assistant Executive Director for the Society.
Fourteen-year-old Megan Gagliardi was one of the organizers. She said watching her grandmother deal with the illness is hard on the family.
“It’s hard because it’s like she’s slowly becoming less herself,” she told Global News.
Paulina Broady, another organizer, says it was the same thing for her family, when her late grandfather also had the disease.
“He was a funny and really outgoing guy,” she said. “He couldn’t express himself and he was having a lot of difficulty, and it was really hard to see him go through that.”
WATCH: (July 18, 2019) Living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Those who deal with Alzheimer’s patients agree that the disease doesn’t just affect the patients. They say it’s extremely hard on the families psychologically, because long-term care can be difficult.
“You’re seeing the person’s personality change, you’re seeing the need for constant care and supervision of the person, they’re not remembering or recognizing their loved ones so relationships change,” Isaacs-Morell explained.
She adds that “there’s a financial strain — the need to get the right health care services.”
In May, a Montreal man was sentenced to two years for killing his wife who had Alzheimer’s. Questions about lack of support for caregivers were raised in that case.
Money raised from events like this, advocates say, is important.
Isaacs-Morell said “the funds that these young people are raising will be going towards programs that are not subsidized by the government.”
She explained that includes some counseling services, training for staff and recreational activities for patients.
“If a person raises $500, that’s enough to purchase one year’s supply or equipment for our art therapy programmes,” she added.
The soccer clinic organizers want to raise $2,000. Registration for the clinic was $20 per participant. People can also donate online.