I came to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia while searching for a volunteer position that would allow me to use my background in neuroscience. As a postgraduate student in neurophysiology, I focus mainly on research questions related to basic science. However, findings in basic science usually help advance clinical applications and treatment options. Through the Alzheimer Society I was hoping to get an insight in how research can improve the situation of people with dementia, their families and caregivers.Since I knew there is no cure or even termination of disease progression in Alzheimer’s disease, I was curious about how the society is trying to offer support. The society’s endless effort to educate people and thus prevent stigmatization, raise funds and awareness, and support families and caregivers from onset and throughout progression of the disease is creating a powerful network which supports not only the critically affected parties, but also reaches out to the community and fortifies research monetarily.
My role as a volunteer entails hands-on tasks when it comes to bulk mail-outs, data sorting or the preparation of the annual Walk for Alzheimer’s which usually involves good company and many laughs. Due to my research background, I am also representing the society at fairs or during educational sessions.
I like volunteering for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia because of their invaluable background work for people with dementia and their families. Since I have started to volunteer for the society, I have developed a deeper appreciation for how much of an effort it is for families and caregivers to cope with this usually unexpected situation and how being educated about the disease and treatment options can already release some of the stress for everybody involved.