January 11, 2016
As Alzheimer’s patients succumb to pneumonia and infection, a doTERRA Wellness Advocate strives to help.
During her years of college, doTERRA Wellness Advocate Mary Gauldin began volunteering for the North Central Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Her love of the elderly and her desires to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease connected her with those she worked with, and when her grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it only fed her desire to help the cause of eliminating Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that occurs because of the degeneration of the brain, and it can interfere with memory, thinking, and behavior. These symptoms are likely to influence a person’s ability to perform daily tasks like walking, remembering, and swallowing. The loss of everyday capabilities can also lead to additional health issues such as infection. For example, people with Alzheimer’s are at a greater risk of getting pneumonia because of complications associated with swallowing. Swallowing inabilities can cause individuals to inhale food and liquid into airways which may lead to infections like pneumonia.1 Aside from pneumonia, other infections and side effects that can occur from Alzheimer’s symptoms include urinary tract infections (UTI), the flu (influenza), and broken or fractured bones from falls.2
The Alzheimer’s Association is striving to eliminate Alzheimer’s through raising money for research, advancing research, providing care and support for Alzheimer’s victims, and by promoting brain health to reduce risks of dementia. As part of the association, volunteers, like Mary, help to bring this vision to fruition.
For Mary, her personal mission as a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association "is to provide a better quality of life for those living with this devastating disease." She is constantly involved with service projects, fundraising events, and seminars that are structured to support and build those suffering from Alzheimer’s. One of the projects she directed and created was the "Brains, Beauty, and Bunco" event that served as a Ladies Night Out for those in the facility. This fun event is one of many events that help to enhance the quality of living among those she serves. Through volunteers like Mary and through the Alzheimer’s Association’s efforts, they are making the difference for the thousands of people fighting against this disease today.